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Govt may extend Pathak panel's term on Volcker

Government may extend by six months the term of RS Pathak Inquiry Authority going into Volcker findings.

india Updated: Apr 26, 2006 13:16 IST

Government may extend by six months the term of Justice RS Pathak Inquiry Authority going into the Paul Volcker findings in the Iraq Oil-for-Food scam.

"We have received a letter from Justice Pathak for extension. We are considering. It has to go before the Cabinet for a decision," a Finance Ministry official said.

The Justice Pathak Inquiry Authority was constituted in November with a six months term till May 11 to probe the references in the Volcker report which named former External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh and Congress party as non-contractual beneficiaries.

Justice Pathak has written to Finance Ministry seeking six months' extension saying the probe has to be conducted abroad, including the United States.

Justice Pathak Inquiry Authority had recently issued a second notice to Natwar Singh, his son Jagat Singh and some others in connection with the probe.

The fresh notices were issued after they filed "evasive" replies and did not furnish material information in their response to the first "individual" notices, Authority sources said, adding they have been asked to respond within a week.

In the response to the first 'individual' notices, Natwar Singh had said he did not receive any money in the UN Oil-for-Food programme "either directly or indirectly".

His son Jagat Singh, a Rajasthan MLA, had also made a similar submission to the Authority set up by the Government to go into allegations that Natwar Singh and Congress party were "non-contractual beneficiaries" of the Oil-for-Food scam.

Natwar had claimed he was not involved in any manner either directly or indirectly with the programme.

First Published: Apr 26, 2006 13:16 IST