K.V. Prasad

"Only presiding officers can admit notices"

NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Monday asserted that the leakage of the Justice Pathak Inquiry Authority report was a matter of privilege of Parliament.

It was for the presiding officers of both Houses to decide on the admissibility of notices on the issue, and the manner in which the report had been leaked "merits privilege consideration," said CPI (M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury at a press meet.

Mr. Yechury said the Government should inform Parliament on the progress of its assurance that all beneficiaries, including Reliance Industries, named in the Volcker report on the oil-for-food scam, would be probed.

Mr. Yechury said that during a discussion on the Volcker report, the Finance Minister had assured the House that all matters would be pursued and the beneficiaries investigated.

The Pathak report, he said, dealt with only two entities, the Congress and the former External Affairs Minister, Natwar Singh. It was the CPI (M), which had demanded a probe against Reliance.

Timeframe for inquiry

The Government, he said, should set a timeframe and direct the Enforcement Directorate and other agencies to complete their inquiry on the Pathak report findings.

The report said there had been no evidence against Mr. Natwar Singh that he had made moneybut it indicted him on the charges of misusing his office as a functionary of the Congress. For this, it was up to the Congress to take any action.

Mr. Yechury said many countries, including France and Russia, which faced a similar situation, had not taken a serious view of the Volcker report. India's response was "disproportionate" compared to governments of several other countries.