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No widening terms of Pathak inquiry: PM

December 11, 2005 18:18 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday ruled out widening the terms of the Justice R S Pathak Inquiry Authority probing the Volcker committee report on alleged Iraqi oil-for-food payoffs.

Complete Coverage: The Volcker Report

"There is no proposal to tinker with the notification. What has been spelt out in the notification will not be tinkered with," Dr Singh told journalists accompanying him on his four-day visit to Kuala Lumpur to participate in India-ASEAN and East Asia summits.

In the face of allegations by a news magazine that a person close to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was also involved in the Iraqi payoffs, Congress party members in Parliament had demanded widening the scope of the Pathak Inquiry Authority.

He also made it clear that the government had nothing to hide on the Volcker issue and that there was a procedure to be followed.

"As stipulated, the report of Pathak Inquiry Authority will be tabled in Parliament along with the Action Taken Report after their completion and everything would become clear then," Dr Singh said.

Finance Minister P Chidambaram had assured on Friday a fair and impartial probe by the Enforcement Directorate into the Volcker findings on Iraqi oil pay-offs.

Chidambaram had also said that the terms of the Pathak inquiry could be widened if such a request was made by Justice R S Pathak himself.

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