A parliamentary panel looking into the arms purchases during the 1999 Kargil war has asked the Defence Ministry to place before it the classified report of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on the matter.
A parliamentary panel looking into the arms purchases during the 1999 Kargil war has asked the Defence Ministry to place before it the classified report of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) on the matter. A sub-panel of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), headed by BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab, in its draft report has asked the ministry to place before it the classified CVC report on ‘Defence Deals’. “In the interest of accountability, the committee recommend that the said CVC report must be placed before the PAC, along with details of action taken thereon,” the panel said in its draft report last week.
The draft report has been adopted by the sub-committee of the PAC, but it will be placed in parliament after a full committee approves it. Presenting its case before the panel, the Defence Ministry had said that the CVC report has not been declassified so far. The ministry further said that the study by CVC and Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report 7A of 2001 on Operation Vijay (Kargil War), were similar.
The CAG report is in public domain, it added. Despite acknowledging the ministry’s argument, the panel persisted with its demand of placing the report before it. “Such brazen refusal by the executive to furnish details of a CVC report to a committee of parliament citing national security concerns underlines a demeaning presumption that a parliamentary committee cannot be trusted on national security,” the panel said.
The terms of reference of the CVC report was to examine all major defence contracts entered into after 1989, worth more than Rs 75 crore. In 2003, the PAC could not release its report on arms purchased during the Kargil war, as the defence ministry had refused to share the CVC’s findings.