Hard to believe graft charges against PM: Hegde

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 13:26

New Delhi: Justice Santosh Hegde Wednesday said it is "extremely difficult" to believe that allegations raised by Team Anna against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh could exist but demanded an inquiry if there are documents to suggest that some wrongdoing was done.

"It is extremely difficult for me to believe, having seen the Prime Minister all these years to say that such an allegation could exist. But at the same time, if somebody has said it is in documentary form, I think an inquiry should be held," Hegde, a Team Anna member, said.

His comments came following Singh`s remarks that he would quit if any of the allegations levelled against him in coal bloc allocation are proved.

Hegde said lawyer Prashant Bhushan has noted that there were huge documents, including CAG report and opinion given by Coal Ministry, which advised against allocating coal blocs without auction.

"If there are materials that are there, I think an inquiry should be held," he said, adding he had not seen any of the documents Team Anna had sent to the Prime Minister seeking inquiry.

"With regards to the charges made by Team Anna, I don`t have the facts with me," he said.
Hegde also once again voiced his opposition to the use of a particular word by Bhushan to describe the Prime Minister.

"I did not like it. So I would like to keep myself away from that statement," he said.
Reacting to Singh`s remarks yesterday, Bhushan had said the Prime Minister should have gone through the documents accompanying the `charge sheet` before terming them as "irresponsible allegations".

"He should respond to them on a point-by-point basis, fact by fact basis," Bhushan said.
Another Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said the allegations have not been levelled by the activists but were part of various CAG reports. "To say that CAG reports are irresponsible is not right as it is a constitutional body," he said.
Kiran Bedi said, "PM is first among equals. If his equals are under a cloud as a leader of the team it is good leadership to set up an SIT to know the truth.

"If PM is clean, he can come out clean. Please submit to investigation. It shall be the lawful way to disprove CAG`s deductions not of Team Anna," she said.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - 13:05

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