Gujarat government has appointed Justice (retired) A L Dave as the chairman of an enquiry commission to investigate the politically sensitive Naliya gang rape case, in which several suspended BJP members are accused. Opposition Congress has been demanding a judicial probe under a sitting judge of Gujarat High Court.
This was announced in Gujarat Assembly by Home Minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja while speaking on the budgetary demands of the department on Thursday.
Justice Dave was judge of Gujarat High Court from 1997 to 2012. Currently, he is the executive chairman of Gujarat State Legal Services Authority.
The 34-year-old victim from Kothara village in Naliya taluka of Kutch has accused several BJP members of raping her for the last one-and-a-half year after which they were suspended from the party. Many were arrested last month.
Congress had raised the issue in the ongoing budget session of the Assembly and had threatened to disrupt the House if the state government did not order a judicial probe into the gangrape under a sitting judge of Gujarat High Court.
The ruling BJP and Opposition Congress later struck a compromise after CM Vijay Rupani agreed to order a judicial probe into the case. Rupani’s assurance was welcomed by the Leader of Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela.
On Thursday, when Jadeja announced the state government’s decision to appoint Justice Dave, BJP MLAs welcomed it by thumping the desks. But Congress MLA Raghavji Patel said that their demand was to have a commission headed by a sitting judge of the High Court.
Replying to Patel, Jadeja said that a sitting judge was not appointed since the state already had lesser number of judges than required at the HC. “That would have adversely affected the pending cases at the HC.”