<b>XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, <i> Session I </i> </b>
XIII LOK SABHA DEBATES, Session I Tuesday, October 26, 1999/Kartika 4, 1921 (Saka)


Type of Debate: SPECIAL MENTION
Title: Regarding charge-sheet filed in Bofors Case.

TEXT :
11.12 hrs.

SHRI MADHAVRAO SCINDIA (GUNA) : Mr. Speaker, Sir, it has been a very long and arduous election. The Congress, as always, in all humility accepts the verdict of the people whether it propels us into Government or makes us sit in the Opposition because we believe that Government and Opposition are the two sides of the same democratic coin. It is in that spirit that we approached this new Parliament. But, we could never imagine the depths to which the Government were prepared to fall in the way they have vitiated the atmosphere and made their intentions clear in launching a witch-hunt after ten long years, dragging in the name of our dear departed leader Shri Rajiv Gandhi into the Bofors chargesheet without a shred of evidence. It is a matter of great shame that a leader of his stature after having passed away, a person who has no opportunity now to defend himself or to represent himself in the court, should be brought into the Bofors chargesheet.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, surprisingly, one of the hon. Ministers said, Shri Rajiv Gandhi may have passed away and it may be true that there may not be a shred of evidence against him in the Bofors chargesheet but his name had to be dragged in so as to make the chargesheet sustainable. I think, this is a shocking and a very candid statement made on behalf of the Government. We cannot help but reach the conclusion that this is an attempt to denigrate the Congress; an attempt to divert attention from their own mismanagement of affairs and from their own scandals that beset them; and an attempt to denigrate the name of the late Rajiv Gandhi, who in his life time achieved the pinnacle of popularity in this country and in a short career established a weight and an influence on the world stage. I think that the dignity of the House here is also affected. Let us not forget that he was also the Leader of this august House.

We believe, Sir, that the law must take its own course. But, Mr. Speaker, Sir, let the Government not determine what that course of law should be. We want to make a clear distinction. We are keen that the Bofors investigation reaches its conclusion; we are keen that the guilty are brought book; we are keen that the guilty are prosecuted; but we have great objection to the dragging in of the names of innocent people into this chargesheet after their demise.

Therefore, while we insist that the Bofors case should continue to its logical conclusion, we do expect the Government to respond appropriately and delete the name of the late Rajiv Gandhi from the Bofors chargesheet. We do hope that the Government understands our sentiments and in that spirit acts in accordance with our sentiments. We are looking forward to an appropriate response from the Government. Otherwise, this Session is beginning on a very very inauspicious note and the onus of responsibility for this will entirely be on the Treasury Benches.

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... (ɴvx)

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... ... (ɴvx)

MR. SPEAKER: This is not a discussion at all. Please understand. Because the Deputy Leader of the Opposition has mentioned something, I allowed him. This is not a debate. Please understand. The Government is also interested to give reply.

... (Interruptions)

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MR. SPEAKER: The Government is respnding. Please understand.

... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: This is not a discussion at all. Please understand. This is not a debate. Why do you object when the Government is responding? I have asked the Government to respond. The Government is going to respond.

... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Nothing will go on record.

(Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: You have asked the Government to respond. The Government is going to respond. But you are not allowing the Government to respond.

... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Nothing will go on record.

(Interruptions)

SHRI P. H. PANDIAN (TIRUNELVELI): I want to make a suggestion.

MR. SPEAKER: Shri P. H. Pandian, what is your suggestion?

SHRI P. H. PANDIAN : There is no provision under Criminal Procedure Code to launch a prosecution. ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: You have already raised the issue. The Government is going to reply. There should be some procedure.

_________________________________________________________________________

*Not recorded.

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR (MAYILADUTURAI): We have no objection. You asked me a question. Please give me an opportunity to make my point clear.

MR. SPEAKER: What is your submission?

SHRI PRIYA RANJAN DASMUNSHI (RAIGANJ): Are you allowing a debate?

MR. SPEAKER: No. I am not allowing the debate.

... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav, please sit down.

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SHRI P.H. PANDIAN : Sir, I want to make one submission. ... (Interruptions) I will make my submission in just two minutes' time.

MR. SPEAKER: Please take your seat.

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MR. SPEAKER: There is no point of order in Zero Hour, please understand.

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : Mr. Speaker, Sir, you said that you could not hear my point. Will you allow me now? ... (Interruptions) You said that you had not heard my point. Why do you not give us an opportunity to make our point? ... (Interruptions) Please allow us to make our point. If Shri Advani wishes to intervene, I have no objection. Let him continue. ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: He is intervening.

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : All right, I will make my submission later. ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Please understand, the hon. Minister is intervening.

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MR. SPEAKER: Shri Mulayam Singh, please understand that the Minister is intervening.

... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Please understand, the Minister is intervening, not concluding.

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MR. SPEAKER: Today, we have a very important business. Please understand. Please cooperate with the Chair.

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+vI ɽn : ֱɪɨ ʺƽ V, +{ xɪɮ 訤ɮ * +{ < iɮ S E Ei *

The hon. Minister is intervening.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : Mr. Speaker, Sir, there is a notice in my name saying that this issue will be raised during Zero Hour. ... (Interruptions)

ֱɪɨ ʺƽ n : xɪɨ xx ɱ + {ɮ{ɮB xx ɱ M * E {gBM*

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : Please assure us that I will have the opportunity of making our submission. You had yourself said that you could not hear the point that I made. Now that there is less noise in the House, all I am asking for is an opportunity to intervene in this discussion of essential importance to the Congress Party. If this intervention is not permitted from my side ... (Interruptions)

THE MINISTER OF PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS AND MINISTER OF WATER RESOURCES (SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN): Is there any discussion? The Government is prepared for any discussion which they want on this subject.

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : I am asking for an opportunity to make my submission. ... (Interruptions)

SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN: Please give a notice if you want a discussion. We are prepared for any discussion.

SHRI PRIYA RANJAN DASMUNSHI : This morning, we gave a notice to raise the issue during Zero Hour to make our submission and we made it amply clear that two of us will make the submission.

... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Nothing will go on record.

(Interruptions)

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... (ɴvx)

MR. SPEAKER: Please understand that today we have a very important business.

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : This is the important thing for us.

... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Shri Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, you have given a notice for adjournment motion also. What is this? Now, you are disturbing the House.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI T.M. SELVAGANAPATHI (SALEM): Please allow us to participate in this. We have also given a notice. ... (Interruptions)

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ֱɪɨ ʺƽ n : +vI ɽn, <ix ɽi{h ɴɱ {ɮ E +{ x E E xɽ nM?

... (ɴvx)

MR. SPEAKER: Shri Pandian, please take your seat. I have not allowed you. How can you speak without the permission of the Chair? Please take your seat. What is this?

... (Interruptions)

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : Sir, I seek an opportunity to speak. ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Shri Manishankar Aiyar, please take your seat.

... (Interruptions)

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MR. SPEAKER: Shri Advani, what is your intervention?

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... (ɴvx)

SHRI PRIYA RANJAN DASMUNSHI : Sir, we have to make our submission first and then only, they can make their submissions. ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Shri Manishankar Aiyar, what is your submission?

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : Thank you, Sir.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, I request you, ...

MR. SPEAKER: What is your submission?

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : I was about to commence my speech.

MR. SPEAKER: It should be very brief please.

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : Mr. Speaker, Sir, I rise with an extremely heavy heart because I had hoped to begin my second innings here, ...

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... (ɴvx)

MR. SPEAKER: What is your submission, please?

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : Please let me speak. I cannot make my submission if I am constantly interrupted.

MR. SPEAKER: The Deputy Leader of the Opposition has already made his point. What more do you want?

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : I have a submission to make and I told you also.

MR. SPEAKER: The Government has also replied that there is no objection in having a discussion.

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : I seek your permission to be able to make my submission in a House that is listening. Thank you very much, Sir.

Mr. Speaker, Sir, ...

MR. SPEAKER: You are not to go into the merits. Please understand that. He has already mentioned it.

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : If you are not going to allow me to speak, let me not mention it.

MR. SPEAKER: No. You can mention your point.

... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: You can also mention your point.

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : I am mentioning my point. I am not even being allowed to begin. I begin by saying this. All that I am allowed to do is the courtesy of addressing you; I am not being allowed to continue. How can I speak? Please allow a Member the right to express his view here, when he has given due notice to the Speaker, in this Hour which is supposed to be dedicated to such a thing. If they continue to behave in this manner, how can you expect me to speak?

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< nx xɪ 訤ɮ *

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MR. SPEAKER: Hon. Member, please take your seat.

... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar, please understand that there are eleven names. They have given notices for Zero Hour on various subjects.

... (Interruptions)

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SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we have before us this chargesheet which have a recitation and names listed as accused. ... (Interruptions)

SHRI PRAMOD MAHAJAN): Sir, the Deputy Leader has already spoken on the same subject. ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar, please understand that Shri Scindia has already spoken on the subject.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI MADHAVRAO SCINDIA : When we give notices under Zero Hour, we are not necessarily submitting on behalf of the party. He, as an individual Member, has every right to raise whatever issue he wants to raise. ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Shri Scindia, you have already spoken on this subject.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI PRIYA RANJAN DASMUNSHI : If he wants to raise this issue again, what is wrong in that? If you interrupt everytime, no business can be conducted. ... (Interruptions)

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : Why are you not allowing me to speak? Why are you afraid of me? Why do you not give me an opportunity to make my submission? ... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar, please address the Chair and not the Members.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : Sir, I am addressing you. I am only asking whether I cannot be afforded the opportunity of making a submission without interruption on a matter of high importance to us.

SHRI SONTOSH MOHAN DEB (SILCHAR): The House will continue if you allow him. ... (Interruptions)

SHRI MANISHANKAR AIYAR : Mr. Speaker, Sir, we are confronted with a chargesheet which has a recitation and a set of accused without the link being established in the recition with the accusations that have been put in column 2. In column 2, Shri Rajiv Gandhi has been named. He is a person who in this House led the House; he is a person who was the Leader of the Opposition. ... (Interruptions)

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... (ɴvx)

MR. SPEAKER: Shri Choubey, please sit down.

... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Please take your seats.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI MANI SHANKAR AIYAR : We demand of the Government the deletion from column 2 of the name of Shri Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister, former Leader of this House and former Leader of the Opposition and a martyr to this country who had been honoured with the Bharat Ratna since no ground has been established which would warrant or justify the inclusion of his name in column 2. This has been done with malice aforethought; this has been done with a vicious intent; this has been done with a political purpose; and this has not been done to further the cause of discovering what happened in that particular event.


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