New Delhi: As Subramanian Swamy and Congress members continued to spar over AgustaWestland chopper deal in Rajya Sabha, Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien today said the Chair has not authenticated or approved any document tabled by the recently nominated member in support of his statements on the issue.
Mr Kurien gave the ruling after Jairam Ramesh of Congress raised the issue that Mr Swamy had claimed on his Twitter handle that Rajya Sabha had approved the documents he had tabled based on which he had made allegations during a discussion on the VVIP chopper deal.
“Nobody else has authenticated it (Swamy’s documents), neither the Chairman, nor me,” Mr Kurien said, adding that the responsibility of the documents rested with the person authenticating them.
“The Chair bears no responsibility. Chair has not authenticated any papers,” Mr Kurien said and further went on to add that he had not approved anything.
Mr Ramesh first quoted the Rajya Sabha Bulletin of May 6 that said the Chairman had permitted Mr Swamy to lay on the table of the House copy of three documents he claimed to have quoted while participating in the discussion.
The Congress member then said that Mr Swamy had next day tweeted: “Rajya Sabha has approved my documents. Jairam Ramesh run for cover.”
He asked whether Rajya Sabha has approved of the documents submitted by Swamy, who he said “does not have the habit of speaking truth.”
“The bulletin says the papers authenticated by Swamy are laid on the table… (and so) they would be available for scrutiny… we will expose him,” the Congress member said.
Posing whether Rajya Sabha has approved his documents, Mr Ramesh said if not, then “I demand an apology from the honourable member” but quickly added that he would not call him “honourable” and stick to seeking an apology from Mr Swamy.
Protesting against Mr Ramesh for terming him as a person in habit of telling lies, Mr Swamy said the Chairman’s right to allow papers to be laid on the table was being called to question.
“Jairam Ramesh has a habit of putting his hand in wrong places and being bitten. Right now he has a bandage,” he said in an apparent reference to the cast on the Congress leader’s right hand.
Statements on Twitter, he said, were between him and his followers. “Jairam Ramesh is follower of some buddhu (fool),” he said in sarcastic tone and added that the Chairman’s decisions are being brought into question.
Mr Kurien said Mr Swamy during his speech during the debate on the chopper deal had quoted some documents and he was directed to authenticate and place them on the table of the House.
“It was not done on that day,” he said adding when Mr Ramesh had again raised the issue on Friday he had given a ruling that Mr Swamy should authenticate and place on the table the documents he had quoted the same day or whatever he had said quoting from the documents would be deleted from the records.
Subsequently, he authenticated and tabled the documents.
“Nobody else has authenticated it (documents), neither the Chairman, nor me,” Mr Kurien said adding the responsibility of the documents rested with the person authenticating them.
“The Chair bears no responsibility. Chair has not authenticated any papers,” he said.
Asked if Mr Swamy’s papers have been approved, he remarked, “I have not approved anything.”
Mr Swamy then asked about the status of breach of privilege notice he had given against Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad for “wrongly” stating that the Italian company had been blacklisted by the UPA government.
Mr Kurien said the notice was under consideration of the Chairman and he would be duly communicated about it.
The Rajya Sabha bulletin of May 6 stated that: “The Chairman, Rajya Sabha, has permitted Dr Subramanian Swamy, Member, to lay on the Table of the Rajya Sabha, a copy each of three documents containing 13 pages wherefrom he claimed to have quoted while participating in the Short Duration Discussion on Allegation of Bribery and Corruption in AgustaWestland Chopper Deal held on the 4th May, 2016 in the House.
“The said documents are therefore treated as papers laid on the table.”