Oil-For-Food: Natwar denies receiving money
The former External Affairs Minister also said that media has tried to make him an accused.india Updated: Apr 06, 2006 13:05 IST
Former External Affairs Minister K Natwar Singh has told the Pathak Inquiry Authority that he has not received any money in the UN Oil for Food Programme "either directly or indirectly".
His son Jagat Singh, an MLA in Rajasthan, 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 UN sponsored programme in Iraq.
Responding to a notice issued to him by the probe panel, the former Minister said media has tried to make him an accused.
"I am not an accused but the media has tried to make me one. All norms of courtesy, culture and decency have been thrown to the wind," said the senior Congress leader, who had to resign as External Affairs Minister in the wake of Volcker controversy.
He claimed he was not connected or involved in any manner either directly or indirectly with the programme. "I am not connected in any manner of involved with the UN Oil for Food Programme, either directly or indirectly."
"I say that I have neither received money or other consideration or paid any money or other consideration to any Government, agency, company, firm or individual in connection the purported transactions in oil under the UN Oil for Food Programme...", he said.
The Authority had issued notices to him and his son Jagat Singh directing them to statements of facts pertaining to the inquiry and forward all the documents either in original or the copies in their possession and control. Sixteen others were also issued similar notices.
He said he had no information either within his personal knowledge or based upon any documentation which could be of any assistance to the Inquiry Authority.
Stating that he has been named in the Volcker Report, Jagat Singh questioned the basis on which the Authority came to the conclusion that he could be having any knowledge about the subject matter of the Inquiry.
"I have not been disclosed the basis of the formation of the opinion of the Inquiry Authority upon which the Inquiry Authority has arrived the opinion that I have information on such points or matters which may be useful for, or relevant to, the subject matter of Inquiry," he said in his reply.
Jagat said he was handicapped from traversing the said background information/documentation.
Like his father he also denied having any involvement "directly or indirectly" with the UN programme.
"I have neither received any money or other consideration or paid any money or other consideration to any Government, agency, company, firm or individual in connection with the purported transactions in oil under the UN Oil for Food Programme," he said.
Accordingly, Jagat said, he had no information either within his personal knowledge or based upon any documentation which could be any assistance to the Inquiry Authority.
The proceedings of the Authority, set up on November 11 last year, have been declared as judicial under Section 5(5) of the Commission of Inquiry Act.
It has been notified that "any person found to have made false or misleading statement or allegation before the Inquiry Authority shall be liable to punishment under Section 193 of the Indian Penal Code with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years and shall also be liable to fine."