Opposition Stalls Parliament Over Liberhan Report Leakage

Enraged over the alleged leakage of the Liberhan Commission report on the demolition of Babri Masjid, the BJP on Monday disrupted Parliament demanding its immediate tabling. Despite government's assurance that the report would be tabled
opposition stalls parliament over liberhan report...
PTI November 23, 2009 16:51 IST

Enraged over the alleged leakage of the Liberhan Commission report on the demolition of Babri Masjid, the BJP on Monday disrupted Parliament demanding its immediate tabling.

Despite government's assurance that the report would be tabled in the current session along with the Action Taken Report, the BJP members stalled proceedings of the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

Both Houses witnessed two adjournments as BJP members stormed the well chanting slogans demanding immediate tabling of the report. Members from other opposition parties also expressed concern over the leakage.

Home Minister P Chidambaram said in both the Houses that the report along with an Action Taken Report would be tabled in this session itself.

Leader of Opposition L K Advani  said he was surprised that the contents of the report were leaked.

Expressing shock over the indictment of senior party leader and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in the report as published in a newspaper, Advani said "had I been indicted I would have it as a challenge."

In the Rajya Sabha, the entire opposition said there was a breach of privilege as the report was leaked when the House was in session.

The Liberhan Commission report was submitted to the Government on June 30 and it is required to table it in both the Houses along with the ATR within six months.

When the Rajya Sabha reassembled at noon after disruptions in the morning, Chidambaram asserted that the only copy of the report with the government was in his custody and no one from his Ministry has spoken to any journalist.  "I must be a very foolish man to leak it and embarrass myself," he said.

Replying to charges by the opposition about the delay in presentation of the report to Parliament, the Home Minister said the 17-volume report needs to be translated in Hindi too.

Chidambaram said,"it is unfortunate that a newspaper has published what purported to be the contents of the report."

 Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley said he has no reason to disbelieve the Home Minister that the report was not leaked at his end.

Noting that the only other copy was with the Commission, Jaitley said it meant the leak has taken place at the Commission's end and then it is a breach of privilege.  "It's a very serious matter", he told Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan requesting him to enquire into the matter.

Supporting his party colleague, Venkaiah Naidu said, "We cannot move forward, when our leaders' names have been taken. ...if the same thing is said about the Congress leaders, will you keep quiet."

He said the House cannot move forward unless the report is tabled. "Please try to understand the sentiments." Naidu said if the Home Minister is right, then the Commission and the report has no credibility.

He said the Home Minister has not explained why the delay has taken place in translation.

 Agreeing with Jaitley, Amar Singh (SP) said the report was pending for 17 long years and if one copy was in the safe custody of Home Minister, that means it has leaked from the Commission.  "It is shameful" and a breach of privilege of the House," he said.

Singh wondered how the Liberhan Commission took so many years in finalising the report, when the Supreme Court does day-to-day hearing in matters relating to industrial disputes.

In the Lok Sabha, Advani said he was proud to have been associated with the Ayodhya Ram Temple  movement, though he said, he was distressed over the demolition of the Babri Masjid structure. 

Advani said it was his dream of a lifetime to see that a gorgeous Ram Temple was constructed in Ayodhya and he would strive to do so. He however questioned the indictment of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee by the Liberhan Commission. 

RJD supremo Lalu Yadav and Samajwadi Party supremo   Mulayam Singh Yadav demanded immediate tabling of the report.  

Trying to calm angers of Opposition members, the Home Minister said Liberhan Commission report consisted of 17 volumes, and according to Parliamentary practice, the report has to be translated into Hindi and copies in English and Hindi had to be placed in Parliament, and this process would take time. 

Chidambaram repeated that no one from the Home Ministry leaked the report, as only copy of the report was lying in his safe custody. 

Strongly reacting, BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said that the Liberhan report was submitted 6 months back and the government had enough time to get the 17 volume report translated into Hindi. “What were you doing? Is it because of the Jharkhand elections that you did not get it released?” 

Naidu said, it was an insult and affront to  the people of India that on one hand while government was seeking time to table the report, the newspaper had said that it would continue to publish the report in a series. “What's this tamasha going on?”, he asked. 


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