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CWG Scam: Soni Tells Media, Confirm Your Facts, Then Broadcast

PTI 08 Aug 2011, 18:57:45 IST

New Delhi, Aug 8: Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni on Monday told media to verify before publishing or broadcasting news relating to the CAG report on Commonwealth Games.  Addressing a press conference along with two other ministers, Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid, Soni said: “We are making attempt to give some relief from this brouhaha over TRP ratings to the broadcasting sector. There must be some sobriety. Your news have to have some basis and some substance...you should be able to give some proofs when you are asked. Please confirm your facts and then broadcast.”

She, at the same time, clarified that she was talking of self-regulation of media while Khurshid said he was appealing to the media in this regard.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal  firmly rejected the Opposition's contention that the CAG had indicted the Prime Minister's Office on the Commonwealth Games issue and insisted that Constitutional processes must be followed before blaming anyone.

“I do not think that there is an indictment of the PMO in the (CAG) report. There is no indictment. There is only a reference...only a statement of facts,” Sibal said after a meeting of the Group of Ministers on Media. Regretting that the media was reporting “indictment” of PMO and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit when there was none, Sibal said the media should follow self-regulation and check facts before reporting.

Echoing Sibal, Soni said, “There may be reference to different people but reference does not mean indictment. There is no indictment of any high office much less of the PMO.” Sibal, however, steered clear of questions on whether he could categorically say that there was no indictment of Dikshit in the CAG report saying, “We have not read the full report. You should let us know if there is any particular passage which you find as indictment (of Dikshit).” Asked why action was taken against Telecom Minister A Raja even before the CAG report in the 2G spectrum allocation scam was tabled in Parliament, he said, “If in one case, the process was not followed, it does not become a Constitutional precedent.”

However, Sibal declined to give a direct reply when asked whether injustice was done to the DMK minister, saying the matter was in Court and he won't be commenting on whether it was right or not.

He insisted that the Consitutional process that follows the tabling of the CAG report must be allowed to play out. “The report has to go to PAC. There are issues that will have to be explained by concerned departments. The CAG has pointed out certain things. Whether they are true or not have to be decided by PAC. Then the same will be discussed in Parliament,” Sibal said.

Expressing anguish over repeated adjournments in Parliament, he said if the House continued to function like this “the institution will become dysfunctional.” Asking for maintaining decorum in the House, he wondered how the CWG report can be discussed in Parliament without being examined by the Public Accounts Committee.  Soni said the Opposition was wrong in demanding action against those named in the CAG report even before the process has been completed.

“How can there be a compromise? They are saying that those whose name have come in the report should be immediately dismissed otherwise they will not allow Parliament to function,” she said. PTI