The Lok Sabha privileges committee has in its report let off Indian envoy to the US Ronen Sen but not without rapping him for his “headless chickens’’ remark. It recommended that the matter be treated as closed.
It also suggested a “review” of the advisories on the do’s and don’ts for diplomats with regard to their interactions and interfaces with the media and on non-official forums as also the “evolution of certain checks and balances to avert such piquant situation.’’
“The instant matter is a case in point as to how uncalled for expression of pent up feelings on a highly sensitive issue in one unguarded moment by a responsible diplomat can give rise to so many misgivings,’’ said the report that was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. “This matter could well serve as an advisory on what ought not to be done by a diplomat,’’ it added.
The committee reminded the Indian ambassador that “discretion in speech is more important than eloquence.”
In its 47- page report, the panel held that no breach of privilege or contempt of the House is involved in the matter in view of Sen’s clarification that the expression “headless chickens’’ was not directed at MPs or politicians but media persons.
The report referred to Sen’s submission that he never intended to cast “aspersions’’ or “call into question’’ the motivations of MPs, let alone Parliament and noted that he was “genuinely contrite for his indiscretion’’ and had expressed his “anguish and regrets in unqualified terms.’’
While satisfied with his clarification that there was no malafide intention, the report said the expression — which Sen claimed he often used when he or his wife were trying to grapple with a situation — was “indeed an act of indiscretion’’ even if used in a chat with a journalist.