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Justice Nanavati, 86, who probed anti-Sikh, Gujarat riots, passes away

AHMEDABAD, Dec 18: Former Supreme Court judge Justice Girish Thakorlal Nanavati, 86, who investigated the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the 2002 Gujarat riots, died of cardiac arrest at his home in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

He had been a judge of the Gujarat, Orissa and Karnataka High Courts before joining the apex court.

Justice Nanavati was appointed by the National Democratic Alliance Government to probe the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The commission incriminated Congress leaders Sajjan Kumar and Jagdish Tytler. Justice Nanavati was also appointed to probe the 2002 Gujarat riots, replacing Judge KG Shah. The riots that claimed 1,200 lives took place in retaliation to the burning of two coaches of the Sabarmati Express train near the Godhra railway station which killed 59 'karsevaks.'

In 2014, the commission concluded that there had been no serious lapses on the part of either the police or the State administration in dealing with the riots.

Born in Jambusar in Gujarat on February 17, 1935, justice Nanavati hailed from a family of lawyers. He became a judge of the Supreme Court of India in March 1995 and retired on 16 February 2000.

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