Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Following up on my ‘Redeem India’s honour’ open letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Prime Minister,

Thanks for setting up the Shunglu Committee to look into all aspects of organizing and conduct of the Commonwealth Games including, hopefully, the leadership deficit witnessed at many levels of the Central and Delhi governments. V.K. Shunglu is known to have been an upright and competent civil servant and is expected to do his best to do justice to this crucial assignment.

Looking, however, to the Committee’s wide-ranging terms of reference, the period of three months may prove utterly inadequate. To keep within the time limit the inquiry may well have to be only superficial, alternatively, extensions will be granted at the expense of the government’s and Committee’s credibility. A better proposition would have been to grant, from the very beginning, a term of one year to the Shunglu Committee and make all officials in CAG, CVC, CBI, IT and ED investigating into the CWG affairs to take instructions from the Committee and tender their respective final reports to it well within a year. Then at the end of the year the Committee could submit one comprehensive report to the Central government. Otherwise, as per the things structured as of today, the Committee would submit its report in three months on mismanagement, lack of coordination and perhaps a few major cases of financial irregularities and corruption; and the rest of the agencies would go on with their individual inquiries indefinitely, at times at cross purposes with one another. The end result would be that answers to basic questions like what went wrong, what was the total amount of money misutilised or plainly swindled, who all were responsible, would never be known with certainty. That, I am sure, is not the purpose of the Central government. Please, therefore, take corrective measures now when the Shunglu Committee has just been set up and is yet to come into its own.

The other disconcerting point is that M.S. Gill, Jaipal Reddy, Tejendra Khanna and Sheila Dikshit are still very much in saddle. They should be benched without losing further time at least for the duration of various inquiries, so that those could be conducted in a transparently impartial manner. Further, instead of extending their tenures and seemingly rewarding them, the government should have thought of some other ways to make sure that the persons at the top rungs of the CWG organizing committee would be available to the Shunglu Committee and others for the purpose of inquiry.

My 14th October open letter to you remains unacknowledged to date, but I hope that this one would fare better.

Thanks and regards,


Kanan V. Jaswal

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