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Nanavati panel gives clean chit to PM Narendra Modi in 2002 Godhra riots

The Justice Nanavati Commission, probing the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat, on Tuesday submitted its final report to Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel.

According to reports, the panel has cleared Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was chief minister of Gujarat at the time of the incident, of complicity in the riots.

The commission comprises retired judges GT Nanavati and Akshay Mehta.

Earlier, the Gujarat government granted 24 extensions to the commission. The tenure of its 24th extension, granted on September 30, ended on October 31.

In 2008, the inquiry panel had submitted one part of its finding about the Godhra train burning incident, in which it had concluded that burning of the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express near Godhra railway station was a “planned conspiracy”.

The panel had been constituted by the Gujarat state government on March 03, 2002, under the Commission of Inquiry Act comprising Justice KG Shah in the wake of the Godhra train carnage on February 27, 2002 and the subsequent communal riots across the state.

Initially, the Terms of Reference (TOR) of the commission were to inquire into the facts, circumstances and course of events that led to the burning of the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express.

In May 2002, the Gujarat state government appointed retired Supreme Court Justice GT Nanavati as the chairman of the commission and the TOR were further amended in June 2002 as per which the panel was also asked to inquire the incidents of violence that took place after the Godhra incident.

In 2008, after the death of Justice KG Shah, retired High Court Justice Akshay Mehta was appointed to the commission.

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