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Phukan report: Fernandes lashes out at Centre

Source: PTI
May 13, 2005 23:56 IST
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Former Union defence minister George Fernandes on Friday described the tabling of Phukan Commission report on Tehelka expose with an accompanying note as "one in the series of continuous attempts" by Congress and its allies to "subvert" the Commission of Inquiry.

Within hours of the report being tabled in the two Houses of Parliament, Fernandes told reporters that the accompanying note sought to "assail" the report on the ground that it was "bereft of reasoning, without, however, advancing any coherent reasons".

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He said the "continuous attempts" of Congress and its allies "to sabotage" the functioning of the Inquiry Commission was demonstrable from the fact that allegations were made in Parliament against Justice K Venkataswamy who resigned as the commission's chairman after some MPs made allegations against him.

These MPs, he said, were now ministers.

"Again, when the proceedings of the commission recommenced under Justice S N Phukan, and he had given in his report regarding defence transactions, such report was withheld from the public in violation of the Commission of
Inquiry Act," he said in a statement circulated at the press conference.

Fernandes also released copies of the conclusions in respect of 15 transactions which said "no illegality or irregularity has been committed by George Fernandes, as Defence Minister in relation to the said 15 past transactions".

He claimed that many of the items were procured long before he became defence minister.

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