| | |
Pathak panel probe : Loose ends, grey areas
Businessline. Chennai: Aug 8, 2006. pg. 1
Both the failure to cross-examine the representatives of the Party under Sections 8B and C, and the unexplained omission to vest the Authority with the power under Section 166A of the Cr.P.C. considerably dilutes the force of the Inquiry Authority's opinion that there was "not a shred of evidence" to link the Congress party to these transactions, that no wrong can be attributed to the Congress party, that there was "no evidence that the Congress party was involved in the contract and that it derived any benefit at all from the contracts," ...view middle of the document...
The difference in weighing the available material in respect of the Congress Party is in marked contrast to the way the Authority arrived at its opinion in regard to Mr [Natwar Singh]. All that it had to go upon in his case were the mention of his name in the Volcker report and the three letters purportedly written by him introducing Messrs Jagat Singh, [Andaleeb Saigal] and [Aditya Khanna] to the Iraqi oil authorities. Ms Sonia Gandhi too wrote a similar letter commending Mr Natwar Singh and the team accompanying him to [Saddam Hussein]. As stated by Mr Natwar Singh and not conclusively denied by Mr [Pathak], he himself, as the Chief Justice of India, had written to high judicial authorities in the UK putting in a good word for Mr Jagat Singh.
» Jump to indexing (document details)
Full Text (1345 words) |
(Copyright 2006. Financial Times Information Limited - Asia AfricaIntelligence Wire. All Material Subject to Copyright.)
from BUSINESS LINE, August 08, 2006 The conclusions of the Justice R. S. Pathak Inquiry Authority in the oil-for-food scandal suffer from inner contradictions. The report could have been more convincing and thorough than it actually is, says B. S. RAGHAVAN
As per the Finance Minister's statement in Parliament, in November 2005, Mr Pathak did not want the full range of powers of the Evidence Act, so as to enable him retain a greater measure of flexibility and discretion
"For us in the Government truth is of utmost importance. We are determined that truth must prevail in this matter. Our government believes in maintaining high standards of probity and transparency in public life and I can assure the House that no one who is guilty will go unpunished... " - The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh's assurance in Parliament announcing the setting up of the Mr Justice R. S. Pathak Inquiry Authority There is one point that needs to be made clear at the very outset about the task entrusted to the Justice R. S. Pathak Inquiry Authority: Its term of reference confined its scope exclusively to the references to Mr Natwar Singh and the Indian National Congress in the report of the Paul Volcker Committee appointed by the Secretary-General of the UN on the oil- for-food scandal. Mr Pathak was by deliberate intent of the Government kept out of the purview of the Volcker findings on the 135 Indian companies which had also participated in the oil-for- food transactions, paying back to the Saddam Hussein regime a part of the proceeds under cover of various charges which, whether they knew it or not, were tantamount to kickbacks. This knocks out the point raised by the CPI(M) General Secretary, Mr Prakash Karat, about the report being silent on the oil allotments obtained by Reliance Petroleum. In any case, Reliance, Tata, Cipla and some other Indian firms figuring in the Volcker report have already admitted to securing the quantities of oil mentioned in the Volcker report and having paid the "commission" thinking in good faith that it...