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Rail budget ‘leak’: RS Chairman wants matter to be looked into

Hamid Ansari said the matter needs to be looked into to ascertain if norms of official secrecy were infringed upon.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | July 11, 2014 6:46:27 pm

After Congress members cried foul over “leakage” of Railway Budget to media, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari on Friday said the matter needs to be looked into to ascertain if norms of official secrecy were infringed upon but rejected Breach of Privilege notices.

Amid ruckus, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told the House that government will take action taking cue from what has been done in such instances earlier.

Ansari mentioned that he had received notices of Breach of Privilege from six members alleging leakage of Railway Budget. He said the matter was also raised by the members in the House on July 8, the day Railway Budget was presented.

Ansari said he examined the notices on the basis of the case, materials placed on record and the past precedents.

“It is a fact that some of the proposals of the Government which found place in the Railway Minister’s Budget Speech were indeed reported” by a newspaper in its issue of July 8, the day on which the budget was presented.

“It is unfortunate that contents of the Budget Speech of the Railway Minister were reported in the media. This needs to be looked into by the Government to to ascertain if norms of official secrecy were infringed,” Ansari said.

He further said there are several instances in the past wherein the presiding officers have observed that the leakage of Budget proposal does not constitute a Breach of Privilege.

“I have no reasons to differ with these rulings of the past. Accordingly, I hold that these notices are not admissible,” the Chairman said triggering uproar.

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