`Venkataswami must take back resignation'

PATNA Nov. 24. Constitutional expert and senior advocate of the Supreme Court, Basudeva Prasad, today appealed to the President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, and the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, to urge K. Venkataswami to take back his resignation and complete his probe in the Tehelka case.

Mr. Prasad felt that Justice Venkataswami had `reacted too emotionally' after his appointment as the Chairman of the Authority on Advance Rulings of Excise and Customs was criticised by the Opposition in Parliament.

Mr. Prasad described as `dirty planning' the Centre's action in making the appointment public just before the Tehelka Commission, which Justice Venkataswami heads, was on the threshold of submitting its findings into the charges of corruption in the Defence Ministry.

Stressing the need for Justice Venkataswami completing his present assignment, Mr. Prasad said the inquiry amounted to public participation in decision-making though it may not guarantee any outcome.

He said the effort should not stand nullified in a democracy.