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Justice Phukan to decide Tehelka probe status

Source: PTI
January 04, 2003 17:49 IST
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Justice S N Phukan, newly appointed chairman of the Commission probing into the Tehelka expose on alleged corruption in defence deals, on Saturday said he will decide whether or not to start the probe afresh after talking to concerned lawyers and parties.

Justice Phukan refused to comment on why he decided to accept the assignment even after two retired judges of the Supreme Court declining the post in the wake of the controversy leading to Justice Venkataswami's resignation.

Justice Phukan, presently heading the Assam State Human Rights Commission, said, "I will take up the assignment only after celebrating Bihu." Bihu, conciding with the 'Makar Sankranti', would be observed across the North Eastern states on January 13.

"I have not celebrated Bihu since 1994 as I had been out of the state. This time I will celebrate the festival and then go to Delhi to take charge of the new assignment," he said.

Justice Venkataswami had resigned on November 23, in the wake of the criticism by the Opposition in Parliament on Friday over his acceptance of a government job when he was probing the Tehelka expose into fictitious defence deals.

After his resignation, Justice Venkataswami had told reporters that he was ready with a draft based on the commission's hearings, which lasted for more than a year.

He said only the final touches were required after hearing the Attorney General, but refused to comment as to how this report would be used by his successor.

The Great Defence Scandal

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