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Take steps to make intel agencies accountable to Parl: Bhushan

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - 21:41

New Delhi: Alleging misuse of intelligence agencies by politicians and bureaucrats, Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan has asked the government to take appropriate steps to make IB, RAW and NTRO accountable to Parliament within a month or face legal action.

In his seven-page letter, Bhushan said the intelligence agencies were working without any parliamentary control or oversight and this has led to misuse and corruption of these agencies by politicians and bureaucrats.

"India has the dubious distinction of being the only democracy in the world whose intelligence agencies have no legitimacy in the eyes of the law, and are not accountable to the people or Parliament.

"...I urge the government to take appropriate steps to bring out proper legislations to grant legal status to these intelligence agencies and make them accountable to the Parliament," he said.

He said till the time such legislation is passed, the government must bring out a proper mechanism by way of administrative orders so that these agencies could function in accordance with law and their accountability could be ensured to the Parliamentary Sub-committee.

He also demanded that the CAG should carry out annual statutory audit of these agencies."They must (also) carry out audit of their last five years` receipt and expenditure. If the government does not take any reasonable step in this direction within four weeks from the receipt of this letter, we would be compelled to approach the court for proper legal recourse," he said.

Giving examples of US, UK and other countries which had brought laws to make such agencies accountable, Bhushan said along with Parliamentary oversight, there is also the need for control over expenditure by intelligence agencies.

"In India, all public institutions are subject to statutory audit by the CAG. For some reason, intelligence agencies have so far been kept out of their purview.

"In the present case, though all these intelligence agencies are financed from the Consolidated Fund of India, still their receipts and expenditure are not being audited by the CAG," he said.

First Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - 21:41
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