Nanavati — A commission of Omission

By Sayema Sahar,

This commission of omission was formed by the very perpetrators of the 2002 carnage to investigate their own crime and in the end give them a clean chit.Obviously the only objective of this commission was to cover up the sins of the architects of The worst genocide Independent India has witnessed.

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The modus operandi of this toothless commission therefore is to act in accordance to the directives laid down by the Government they are trying to give a clean chit to.

This commission hence has done very little to pay heed to the requests and prayers of the witnesses of the carnage.

One of the key witnesses is the whistle-blower cop of Gujarat Sanjiv Bhatt. The attitude of the commission towards Sanjiv Bhatt has always been very hostile. The legal help to him was denied and his prayers and requests went unheard.

Reiterating the previous requests of Sanjiv Bhatt for the benefit of readers:

Sanjiv Bhatt had requested the Nanavati Commission, to provide him with the access to details of call data, control room messages, intelligence records etc., the probe panel asked him to give a specific list. The commission said it would consider the application if Bhatt gives specific dates for which he’s seeking the data. Sanjiv Bhatt had very promptly provided the commission with an exhaustive list of the same.

Here is how the commission responds to the repeated request of Sanjiv Bhatt:

‘Commission neither has the power to direct the DG and IGP or ADGP to provide access to the information/records/documents required by you nor does it consider it necessary or fit to pass any order for discovery or production of any such document.’

Sanjiv Bhatt helps the commission remember its scope and power:

It is submitted that as pointed out to you in person, Section 4 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1952, inter alia, empowers you to require the discovery and production of any document. It also empowers you to requisition any public record or copy thereof from any court or office. The relevant provisions are reproduced below for ease of reference:

Section 4. Power of Commission. The Commission shall have the powers of a Civil Court, while trying a suit under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, in respect of the following, namely-

(b) requiring the discovery and production of any document;
(d) requisitioning any public record or copy thereof from any court or office;
(e) issuing Commissions for the examination of witnesses or documents;
(f) any other’ matter which may be prescribed.

The continuous act of omission and the indifference to the prayers of the witnesses of the country’s worst carnage has indeed taken away all the credibility from this commission.

Fax Message of Sanjiv Bhatt sent on 27th Feb. 2002

Sanjiv Bhatt in the same letter has attached copy of a purported State Intelligence Bureau alert which had predicted widespread violence as state government decided to bring bodies of Godhra victims to Ahmedabad on February 27, 2002.

The message cautioned about massive mobilisation of VHP and Bajrang Dal cadres ahead of the bandh on February 28. It also warned of widespread communal violence and requested preventive action from all police stations in Ahmedabad.

What will the commission do with this ‘very important’ document is yet to be seen.

(The writer is a Delhi-based journalist, can be contacted on [email protected])