Justice (retired) GT Nanavati, who headed commissions probing the 2002 Gujarat Muslim genocide and the 1984 Sikh genocide, died on Saturday morning at his home in Ahmedabad.
He was 86.
The former Supreme Court judge died of a cardiac failure, family members said.
Justice Nanavati enrolled as an advocate in the Bombay High Court in 1958 and remained on the Government Pleaders’ Panel. He was appointed as a permanent judge in Gujarat High Court in July 1979 and was transferred to the Orissa High Court in 1993.
His commission, appointed to probe Gujarat Muslim genocide, had given a clean chit to now Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his council of ministers, as well as to the police, the BJP, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and the Bajrang Dal in its final report, made public in 2019.
The commission has come in for heavy criticism from Muslim groups, rights activists, Opposition leaders, and academics for obstructing the course of justice, supporting the Hindutva conspiracy theory too quickly, and for ignoring evidence of governmental complicity in the crime against Muslims.
During the course of the commission’s hearings. Nanavati had not summoned the then CM of Gujarat Narendra Modi. Nanavati commission trashed evidence provided by former IPS officers retired DGP Sreekumar, Rahul Sharma and Sanjiv Bhatt, that alleged complicity on the part of the BJP government and its functionaries. It has also cleared former ministers the late Haren Pandya and Ashok Bhatt, and Bharat Barot.
Nanavati was also appointed by the NDA government to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh genocide. He was the sole member of the commission.