CAG Exposure: Roles of PM and President!

There have been serious allegations of massive corruption related to the allotment of coal blocks to private parties during the period when Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh was personally heading the ministry. The report of the Comptroller Auditor General (CAG) gives the details of what transpired in the coal ministry during that time.

The UPA government has destroyed governance. Should it be allowed to destroy our democratic system?

The opposition clamoured in parliament that the CAG report be tabled in the House. The government claimed that the report had not yet been received. “We have not received any such report,” Coal Minister Mr. Sriprakash Jaiswal told the media on being asked about press reports that according to the CAG’s final report undue benefits accrued to private firms in the allocation of blocks. Mr. Jaiswal said this on May 22, the last day of parliament’s budget session. The government did not table the CAG report in parliament right up to the last day of the session despite opposition uproar over the alleged Rs. 1,00,000 crore coal scam. According to parliamentary procedure the government is obliged to immediately table the CAG report in parliament after receiving it. Failure to table the report implied that the report had not yet been received. 

It now transpires that the government had received the CAG report 11 days before the budget session ended. Therefore if not by word but by deed the government had misled parliament and encroached on its rights by not tabling the CAG report.

The decision not to table the report could not have been taken singularly by Coal Minister Mr. Jaiswal. The entire cabinet including the Prime Minister who personally is in the middle of the coal allotment controversy would have been complicit. After such a serious cover up does the PM’s continuance in office remain tenable? Should he not resign? 

How did the government’s chicanery come to light?

The TV channel Times Now is in possession of a reciept letter which reveals that the government had received the coal scam report during the budget session eleven days before the session ended but chose not to table it in the Parliament. From where did the TV channel obtain the copy of the receipt letter? The receipt letter was from Rashtrapati Bhawan. Therefore either President Pranab Mukherjee’s secretariat or the CAG’s office was responsible for the letter being leaked. If it was the President’s secretariat, it would be unlikely that his powerful and efficient aide, Mrs. Omita Paul, would be unaware of the leak. Indeed, it should not surprise if even the President himself might be aware of the leak.
After all, as the upholder of law and Constitution the President can act as the whistleblower. However, if such be the case there arises a serious complication. 

When the CAG submits his report one copy is sent to the President and another to the Finance Ministry. When he submitted his report 11 days before parliament’s budget session ended Mr. Pranab Mukherjee was the Finance Minister. Therefore Mr. Mukherjee along with the PM and other cabinet colleagues was fully complicit in the cover up and in the failure to table the report in parliament. In other words if the leak emanated from Rashtrapati Bhawan, Mr. Mukherjee after colluding in the cover up as Minister would as the President have acted as the whistleblower! If this indeed is the case would it be any more appropriate for him to remain in office as it is for the PM?
All these events need to be viewed in the murky, criminal, corrupt and conspiratorial context in which the UPA government is functioning. Ministers spy on each other, bug each other’s offices, hold back information about illegal foreign bank accounts for use as coercion, and in general intrigue against each other like crooks. Members of parliament need to think deep and hard about where the nation is heading. They must rise above partisan considerations and decide whether even the Prime Minister and the President should be spared accountability when the stakes are so high. Both the PM and President can be made accountable to parliament. The UPA government has destroyed governance. Should it be allowed to destroy our democratic system?
Image (c) 


More by :  Dr. Rajinder Puri

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Views: 3426      Comments: 4

Comment What were the roles of CPI(M) and BJP?

18-Aug-2012 01:32 AM

Comment "Coalition compulsion" has become a 'dirty' adage in Indian vocabulary, not in Indian politics. But here obviously it will not work because PM himself was looking after coal ministry. Now remains only "honest" tag to our world famous economist PM which Congress ...... Fill in the blanks.

Pralay Kumar Bal
10-Aug-2012 11:31 AM

Comment Which MP is going to sit back and think about the country? After all, most of them, if not all, are participants in the loot. Even those who have for one reason and another not done so would think hundred times before rocking their own boats - which they along with others of their ilk have made so cozy with pay, perks and pension that their successive generations wouldn't have to fend for themselves.

It's a looters' democracy and, worse, they, the Parliamentarians and the Government, have been successful in sabotaging Anna's mass movement. Forget about any change; it will not come until we are at the very edge of the precipice.

Proloy Bagchi
09-Aug-2012 07:50 AM

Comment What surprises me is that this issue is not taken up by opposition in parliament on the first day of monsoon session.

People really want to serve the country must raise voice and ask direct and simple questions to government in all forums - as why the report was not tabled in time and why ministers lied one after another.

This specifically, must be debated impartially on TV channels and print media.

(it is other matter that TV channels and print news agencies are always careful to insert another news/discussion/article (cooked up or real) tarnishing BJP or NDA right adjacent to such discussions that tarnish UPA's image, but never mind - this issue must be known to every Indian)

Dinesh Kumar Bohre
09-Aug-2012 06:01 AM

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