Justice R S Pathak has indicted former External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh and his son Jagat for their role in "influencing and facilitating" the procurement of the oil contracts in Iraq, but held that there is "not a shred of evidence" to link the Congress party to these transactions.
The Action Taken Report, which was tabled in Parliament on Monday along with the Authority report, said the government has decided to forward the "report in its entirety" to the Directorate of Enforcement, the Central Board of Direct Taxes and the Central Board of Excise and Customs, to be treated as information and for "such action as may appear to them warranted under law".
The Authority headed by former Chief Justice of India R S Pathak concluded that the documents available with the Volcker Committee were "authentic and reliable".
"The Inquiry Authority has absolutely no evidence to link the Congress party to the transactions discussed in the report and except for the fact that Shri K Natwar Singh and Shri K Jagat Singh belonged to the Indian Congress party there is not a shred of evidence to link the Congress party to the said transactions.
"The Inquiry Authority believes upon examination of all documents and materials which exist before it that no wrong can be attributed to the Congress party." The Authority said Natwar Singh, mentioned as a non- contractual beneficiary with respect to Contract No. M/09/54, was a beneficiary "...in so far that the role by him in influencing and facilitating the procurement of the contracts had fructified. "There is no material to show that Natwar Singh had derived any financial or other personal benefits from the contracts", it said.
As regards the Congress party, the Authority said it has been shown as a non-contractual beneficiary with respect to Contract No M/10/57. "The inquiry authority has found no evidence that the Congress party was involved in the contract and that it derived any benefit at all from the contracts.
Indeed, there is nothing to show that the Indian Congress Party had anything to do with the contracts M/09/54 and M/10/57."
The Authority said, consequently the reference to Natwar Singh with respect to Contract No M/09/54 "...is justified in the sense explained earlier, while the reference to the Indian Congress party with respect to Contract No M/10/57 is not justified at all."
The Authority also named Aditya Khanna, Andaleeb Sehgal of Sehgal Consultants and Hamdaan Exports as the Indian entities or individuals who received money in connection with the purported transaction under the UN oil-for-food programme pertaining to the two oil contracts.
The Authority gave no answer to the terms of reference to make recommendations or suggestions it considered necessary and proper. The Authority did not answer the item number four of terms of reference seeking it to inquire into any other aspects of the two contracts.
The ATR said the government has examined the report and accepted the conclusions contained in the report.
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