The Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat today issued ruling forbidding the Opposition Congress from going ahead with the debate on proposed adjournment motion on mega scam in MoUs and agreements for ports without any tender.
However, the Opposition members being deprived from getting across the proposed motion cried foul on the state government’s role, policy.
As the Speaker directed commerce and transport minister Subrat Tarai to initiate the discussion on the adjournment motion on the above mentioned subject brought by the Opposition Congress, the minister sought to know from the Speaker whether a debate on the subject could be allowed in the House.
He said, “Public interest litigation (PIL) case number 13501 of 2011 on ports issue is sub-judice in the High Court. Secondly, the Speaker while giving ruling in C &AG Report has directed Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will examine the mater. Under such a circumstance, whether a debate in the House is justified,” Tarai asked the Speaker and requested him for passing his ruling on the issue.
Opposing the move of the minister, chief whip of the Opposition Congress Prasad Harichandan said: “The Speaker has already admitted the adjournment motion for discussion. The same issue was discussed in this House under the same title on April 8 2011. The then minister had also replied. But this time, before the debate starts the Government makes a retreat.”
“CAG has given report on resources sharing and revenue of minor ports. We are not asking the government for debate on CAG report,” Prasad said, adding that while the CAG report on 2G Spectrum and coal allocation were tabled, even before it reached the Parliament, PAC discussed the issues.
However, our debate is on MoU scam. Then why the government fears CAG now? Earlier, it was very fond of CAG reports,” he added.
Pointing out proviso in Rules, Prasad urged the Speaker to reconsider allowing the debate. BJD member Amar Prasad Satpathy supported the minister saying that the Speaker should come out with a ruling on it. He said,
It is not CAG report but what matters is judgement pending in High Court. Under the rules of the House there is provision not to discuss any matter adjudicated in Courts. It is likely to influence the judgement,” said Satapathy.
BJD member RP Swain criticised that Congress has double standards in CAG issues.
PMO is now hell bent on creating a division in the CAG. Countering him Congress MLA told that BJD knows its standards.
However, there are number of examples in this House that debate on such issue could be held despite pendency of judgement in the court and examination of CAG by PAC, he urged.
The verbal duel between the Congress and BJD member continued till the Speaker gave a ruling, “As the matter on adjournment motion is sub-judice and CAG report has been tabled in the House will be examined by the PAC, the debate on the said subject will infringe the tradition of the House. Hence, the debate cannot be allowed,” said Amat.
Despite the ruling Prasad went on arguing in favour of allowing the debate. He pointed out that despite adverse comment by the law department, the state government signed memorandum of understanding (MoU)s with several companies.
Although the finance department put up hurdle, the government went ahead with Chudamani port project. Had the High Court not restrained the government, it would have signed MoUs.
BJD chief whip Pravat Tripathy pointed out that deliberations on the subject are irrelevant after the Speaker have given his ruling. He urged the speaker to proceed with other business of the House.