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Updated: October 28, 2010 03:42 IST

Shunglu gets Supreme Court judge status

Smita Gupta
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File photo of V.K. Shunglu, former Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Shunglu, who heads the CWG probe panel, has been conferred status of a Supreme Court judge.
The Hindu File photo of V.K. Shunglu, former Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Shunglu, who heads the CWG probe panel, has been conferred status of a Supreme Court judge.

V.K. Shunglu, who heads the two-member high-level committee set up to probe the alleged financial irregularities in the Commonwealth Games (CWG), has been given the status of a Supreme Court judge. The government notification, issued by the Cabinet Secretary, has invested Mr. Shunglu, a former Comptroller and Auditor General, with greater authority, and will provide him with greater resources in the form of secretarial and other support staff, government sources told The Hindu.

The notification also gives Shantanu Consul, the other member on the committee, the status of Secretary to the Government of India. Mr. Consul, who is currently Secretary, Department of Personnel and Training, will join the high-level committee after October 31, when he retires.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on October 25 had announced a comprehensive and all-encompassing 10-point Terms of Reference (TOR) for the committee. It has been given the authority to summon officials, inspect records, call evidence and to look into all the official documents pertaining to the CWG, that came under the scanner, following allegations of massive corruption.

But despite the wide-ranging TOR, government sources said the focus will be on the role of the Organising Committee (OC) which as a non-governmental structure is not part of the governmental system. These sources pointed out that the Rs.2,600 crore that had been given to the OC by the government was meant to be recovered through money raised from the sale of tickets, the issuing of TV rights and sponsorship. But the OC has been able to raise only about a fifth of that amount and, as a result, the government has lost a great deal of money.

The sources pointed out that other agencies and departments involved in the management of the Games were already answerable to agencies such as the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). While the Shunglu panel would look at the gamut of agencies and departments, the OC would come in for special attention.

The panel will submit its report in three months and its recommendations will then be handed over to investigative agencies for further action, these sources said.

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With more pressing issues like the kashmir problem and the winter session soon to begin, the news of corruption in CWG has already taken the back seat in the media and the government shows action is being taken. But the timeline of these actions seems very obvious that this issue is already on its way to being forgotten. The procrastination attitude of the govt will lead this issue to be forgotten and tax payers money (not govt's money as mentioned by you) has found to be misused. Moreover this is an classic example of putting money in the netas and babus pockets in the name of doing things rather than take it themselves from the treasurer.

from:  Ajay Kumar
Posted on: Oct 28, 2010 at 11:23 IST
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