Jethmalani`s remarks create flutter in RS

Last Updated: Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 22:37

New Delhi: Noted advocate and BJP member Ram
Jethmalani on Thursday created a flutter in the Rajya Sabha when he
made certain remarks against persons having money stashed away
in Swiss banks.

Participating in the debate on Lokpal Bill, Jethmalani
referred to an article published in an European magazine in
1991 that contained "names, photographs and bank account
numbers".

His remarks were strongly objected to by Congress members
led by Mani Shankar Aiyar.

Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan, who repeatedly asked the
protesting members to take their seats, said it was "not
correct to bring the name of Prime Minister" and wanted
removal of the reference made by Jethmalani.

After the ruling, Jethmalani spoke about the protocol that
India signed with the Swiss government on August 30 last year
on double taxation avoidance treaty and used a word to
describe the government`s intention. The Chair expunged the
remark, saying it was unparliamentary.

The BJP leader`s remark again drew sharp reactions from
the ruling benches and Khan had a tough time restoring order.

When order was finally restored, Jethmalani said the
protocol signed with the Swiss government says India will not
seek information about past and only future information on
double tax avoidance would be sought.

Aiyar and others objected saying Jethmalani was raising an
issue that was not linked with the issue under discussion.

Opposition BJP and AIADMK members stood up to counter Congress
members.

Khan asked members to resume their places and remarked
that obstruction is on both sides. "If you don`t cooperate,
how can Chair run the House," he asked, appealing to members
to resume their places.

Jethmalani said the United Nations Convention of
Corruption that India ratified earlier this year, does not
apply in case of bilateral treaties.

"This is great act of deceit," he remarked, triggering
protests from Congress members.

BJP and AIADMK members countered the slogan shouting and
Khan had a tough time restoring order.

Alleging conflict of interest, Narayanasamy said
Jethmalani cannot raise the issue of blackmoney as he is
representing a the blackmoney case in the Supreme Court.

Khan said as per rules members have to declare their
interest before speaking on the issue.

Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley said there was no
conflict of interest and what Jethmalani was speaking was
continuation of interest.

Earlier, Jethmalani said German government had obtained
names of Swiss bank account holders by paying bribe and had
offered to share information with friendly countries.

He said several countries like the US, Germany and France
could get information about blackmoney in Swiss banks, but
India has signed protocol which will allow information only
about the future and not the past.

With Switzerland, the government of India gave up the
right to ask for information about the past, he said, adding
BJP would not support the bill under any condition.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, December 29, 2011 - 22:37

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