The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The work of the Justice Phukan Commission looking into the Tehelka tapes exposure has been compromised by the impropriety committed in the misuse of IAF aircraft. The Union Defence Minister’s statement in parliament has confirmed that VIP aircraft of the Indian Air Force was used by Justice Phukan and his party to visit places for sight seeing and worship which has nothing to do with the Commission’s official work. Further, such use of aircraft must have been sanctioned by the then Defence Minister, George Fernandes, who was himself subject to enquiry by the Commission.
Given these circumstances, the Phukan Commission report will have not much credibility. It may be recalled that the Vajpayee government had sought to divert attention from the startling Tehelka tape exposures by appointing a judicial commission instead of prompt investigation and filing of cases against those persons about whom there was prima facie evidence. The UPA government has adopted the correct course by entrusting the investigation to the CBI which can help in uncovering the nexus of corruption which exists in defence procurements.