Monday, July 28, 2014

Govt withholding Patra Commission’s report, Congress alleges

GANGTOK, 27 July: Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary and spokesperson, Padam Bahadur Chettri, has alleged that the state government has been withholding the report of the Patra Commission from both, the High Court as well as the State Legislative Assembly, as well for almost 5 months.
Addressing a press conference today, which was also attended by JB Darnal who has challenged the validity of the Patra Commission in High Court, Mr. Chettri informed that the state, on 24 July, filed an additional affidavit through the Additional Secretary of Home Department informing that the Patra Commission has submitted its report to the Government.
The state government had appointed a Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice [retd] RK Patra to enquire into corruption allegations against the Chief Ministers and several Cabinet ministers. Mr. Darnal had challenged the institution of the Patra Commission before the Sikkim High Court in 2011 while Mr Chettri had also filed an application for intervention.  They had contended that the commission was illegally constituted to prevent the CBI from conducting investigations in the state.
“As per section 3 (4) of Commission of Inquiry Act it was incumbent upon the appropriate government to give the action taken report within 6 months,” said Mr Chettri. He stressed that as per the provisions of the Act it is mandatory for the appropriate government to place the report of the commission of Inquiry in the Legislative Assembly.
Nearly 5 months have passed since the Commission submitted its report but the people of Sikkim have not been made aware about the report and no action has been taken on such report.
“If the government had received the report from the Patra Commission on 05 March earlier this year then why was the report not tabled in the State Assembly?” questioned Mr Chettri. He alleged that this was because the government does not want to act on the report.
“The whole purpose of the Commission of Inquiry was to keep the CBI away from the investigation and to curb the voice raised by the people of Sikkim against corruption. The Commission was appointed illegally and now the report is also being withheld,” he alleged.

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