Fernandes charges UPA govt with 'misleading' Parliament
Former Defence Minister George Fernandes on Friday charged the UPA government with "deliberately misleading" Parliament on the Phukan Commission report which probed the Tehelka expose on fictitious defence deals.
Fernandes moved an application under the Right to Information Act to seek information on the report, a statement issued on his behalf said here.
"A reply from the Defence Ministry, while rejecting his application, gave the reason that since this matter was not placed before Parliament, it would amount to breach of privilege if made available to him," the statement said.
"This confirmed the shocking fact that the government has deliberately misled the House on the volume, nature and contents of the Phukan Commission report," it claimed.
The statement said Fernandes would take up the issue with other parties "since he feels that allowing the UPA to get away with such breach of privilege will pave the way for further such deceptions."
The Justice SN Phukan Commission probed allegations of corruption in the wake of the controversy generated by the Tehelka tapes in March 2001. The expose led to the resignation of Fernandes.
Court stays order to provide Tehelka report to Fernandes
New Delhi : A Central Information Commission (CIC) order asking the defence ministry to provide a report on the Tehelka defence deal expose to former defence minister George Fernandes was stayed by the Delhi High Court Friday.
On Nov, 23, 2009, the CIC ordered the government to provide complete report of the Justice S.N. Phukan Commission of Inquiry, which probed the Tehelka expose on alleged corruption in defence deals, to Fernandes.
Putting stay on the CIC's earlier direction, Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said: "The operation of the CIC order is stayed."
The court was hearing the petition filed by the defence ministry seeking quashing of CIC order, which directed the ministry to provide Fernandes a "complete copy" of the report of the Commission of Inquiry.
Approaching the court in appeal against CIC order, the ministry had clarified that since the complete report was not even tabled in parliament, it could not be provided to Fernandes.
The report cannot be given under the transparency law as it would also breach parliamentary privilege, it said.
Fernandes first approached the PMO on Feb 7, 2008 under the RTI Act seeking the copy of the panel's report which had probed the Tehelka expose claiming corruption in defence deals during his tenure in the NDA regime.
The government, in its plea, said the information was denied to Fernandes also because of the fact that the CBI was then probing cases registered following the telecast of the sting operation.