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‘Make intelligence agencies accountable'

Special Correspondent


Secret funds with the agencies could be misused if they are not accountable, says Madhav Godbole

Former Union Home Secretary for an independent budget office to scrutinise Budget


— PHOTO: SURYA SRIDHAR

Sharing views: Former Governor of Reserve Bank of India Y.V. Reddy greeting former Union Home Secretary Madhav Godbole at a book releasing function in Hyderabad on Saturday.

HYDERABAD: Former Union Home Secretary Madhav Godbole has demanded that the intelligence agencies like the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) must be made accountable to Parliament because they were functioning like “resident non-Indians” and had escaped scrutiny.

Participating in a discussion of his book, India's parliamentary democracy on trial, at the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) here on Saturday, Mr. Godbole expressed apprehensions that the secret funds deployed with the agencies could be misused if they were not made accountable. He demanded a constitutional amendment to ensure that all treaties signed by India with other countries were taken by Parliament for ratification. Leave alone ratification, even the sense of the House was not gauged presently, he added.

He also wanted an independent budget office like in the US to scrutinise budget since the Parliament failed to fulfil the task due to disturbances. The political parties were not serious about discussing budget because they did not have any stakes in the functioning of Parliament.

Mr. Godbole said he had discussed in his book whether the system of parliamentary committees should be continued in the present form because they ceased to play an effective role. Only one-fourth of the members were present at meetings to finalise reports of the committees. They were made into law straightaway on presentation to the Parliament.

He also wanted an agency on the lines of Parliamentary Commissioner in UK to make MPs and MLAs accountable.

Lok Satta president Jayaprakash Narayan said the AP Assembly barely discussed for a few minutes a Rs. 1.28 lakh crore budget this year.

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