[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap] fresh row has erupted over sudden appearance in media of a six-week-old inquiry committee report claiming it did not directly name Finance minister Arun Jaitley. While giving clean chit to Jaitley, the media reports conveniently overlooked the fact that the inquiry revealed grave irregularities in the functioning of the cricket body and hinted at non-cooperation from the beleaguered BJP leader.
The truth is out. The report does not name Jaitley. There is no allegation against him, there is no indication (of wrongdoing). The Delhi Chief Minister, we believe, should apologise to Jaitley for his allegations…He should publicly apologise…
The three-man committee was set up by Kejriwal government to look into the charges of financial irregularities in the DDCA. On the basis of the recommendation of the Committee, the Kejriwal government has constituted a commission of Inquiry, which has been stonewalled by Delhi Lt General Najeeb Jung on the ground that only Centre has the power to set up such a commission.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]W[/dropcap]hile Jaitley camp is going gaga over the fact the report does not name him for financial irregularity, implying he has been given clean chit, the fact remains that two members of the committee have said the Jaitley-led DDCA did not cooperate with the probe into the affairs of a local club.
“We have noted herein that the resolution of the Executive Committee under the president-ship of Arun Jaitley dated 30/5/2012, provided to us by the parties and not by the DDCA in spite of our asking,” read the document. “We demanded the records as to what was the fate of the committee constituted by the executive committee of the DDCA under the chairmanship of Arun Jaitley. We were supplied no records,” the report said about probe into legitimacy of a local club.
Incidentally, at no pointy of time anyone ever said or insinuated that this committee has indicted Jaitley. The report of the committee is in public domain for weeks and sudden “twist’ to reports that it has given clean chit to Jaitley, who is also Information and Broadcasting minister, is puzzling. In fact, when AAP leaders recently held a press conference to attack Jaitley and cited this report, they also never said that the committee has named Jaitley. But suddenly, the media has come out with this perplexing “lead” that the report has given clean chit to Jaitley. The manner in which the media has given this “angle” to the story will raise serious questions over role of media in covering the DDCA scandal.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]M[/dropcap]edia observers feel that the coverage of the DDCA scandal has exposed the Indian media like never before in recent times. A particular TV channel that for years claimed it was a crusader against corruption is targeting Kirti Azad and AAP leaders as if they were the one who are responsible for the DDCA loot. Few seem to have the guts to raise fingers at the real culprits.
The report has been out in the media for weeks and there is nothing new about it, except the spin a section of the TV channels has suddenly given it to give a clean chit to Jaitley.
Reacting to these reports, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: “Interesting to see how some media houses are desperately trying to prove Jaitley ji innocent. Why is Jaitley ji afraid of facing enquiry?”
AAP leader and one of the three members of the probe panel, Rahul Mehra, called for summoning Jaitley in court. “Prima facie evidence shows that there was a huge amount of bungling. There has to be a free, fair and transparent investigation against all office bearers, including Mr Arun Jaitley, who held the top office. The needle of suspicion falls on all office-bearers, including the top office-bearer, Jaitley. He has signed on all documents, including the balance sheets. There were contracts given out without proper tendering and it goes against the law,” said Mehra.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]H[/dropcap]owever, latching on to the media ”spin” to the report, BJP demanded a “public apology” from Kejriwal, saying the its own report has found no evidence against the Finance Minister.
“The truth is out. The report does not name Jaitley. There is no allegation against him, there is no indication (of wrongdoing). The Delhi Chief Minister, we believe, should apologise to Jaitley for his allegations…He should publicly apologise”.
“He should also admit his fault in the court (where Jaitley has filed a civil defamation suit against the CM and other AAP members),” Akbar told a press conference here.
He also claimed that the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) had probed the DDCA affair under the regime of the previous Congress government and found nothing incriminating against Jaitley.
Why should a senior cabinet member take time away from his duties to satisfy the whims of people like Kejriwal who is in a state of perpetual agitation.