Wednesday, April 25, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

BJP opposes JPC on Tehelka
Says govt handling of BSF jawans’ killing improper
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 24
The Bharatiya Janata Party Parliamentary Party today opposed the setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) for an inquiry into the Tehelka revelations as demanded by the Congress.

Briefing newspersons about the parliamentary party meeting held this morning, BJP spokesman Vijay Kumar Malhotra said the BJP had been against the Congress demand for a JPC probe and would continue to oppose it.

“A JPC and a judicial inquiry cannot go together and there is no question of winding up the judicial inquiry,” Mr Malhotra said, adding, “We request the government not to accept it”.

Members told the meeting chaired by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee that the government should not succumb to the demand of a JPC.

But there is a difference between the government and the party, and if any consensus emerged among the parties that there should be a JPC on Tehelka, the party would have no objection, Professor Malhotra said.

There was also criticism of the move by Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi to introduce astrology in the university syllabus as they felt that “it was not a subject for study at this level”, party sources said.

They said the view of some members was that it was not a subject which could be described either as “a science or an art and it was really not very useful”.

The party MPs also asked External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh to take up with the Bangladesh Government the issue of the killing 16 BSF jawans. They stressed that Dhaka should give an assurance of strict action against culprits.

“The manner in which the issue was handled by the government was improper and the reputation gained by the handling of Kargil has been completely eroded”, the members felt.

Expressing displeasure over the statement of the External Affairs Minister on various measures taken by the government in handling the situation, members said, “It was a knee jerk reaction by the government and it should have taken a tougher stand on the matter”.

They were of the view that since India had played a key role in the liberation of Bangladesh in 1971, that country should have acted in a more responsible manner.

The minister told members that ties of friendship exist between the two countries, and acts of criminal adventurism would not be permitted to affect these ties.

Meanwhile, the high-level Army court of inquiry going into the Tehelka scam is likely to submit its report to the Army Chief, Gen S. Padmanabhan, by the month-end, according to Army sources.

They said the three-member commission headed by Lt-Gen S. K. Jain has completed the process of deposition of all witnesses and accused and was giving final touches to the report, which it will hand over to Adjutant-General S.S. Grewal for presentation to the Army Chief.

The court, which began its proceedings in early March, took depositions of almost 15 witnesses, including the web portal chief editor Tarun Tejpal and its two-member sting team of Anirudh Bahal and Mathew Samuel as well as five senior Army officers filmed taking money in the sting.

The court went extensively through the 104 hours of video footage submitted to it by the web portal before cross-examining the witnesses and accused.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |