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Judicial probe into Wal-Mart lobbying ordered

New Delhi, Dec 12, 2012 , DHNS 0:49 IST
Customers shop inside a Best Price Modern Wholesale store, a joint venture of Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Bharti Enterprises, in Zirakpur in the northern Indian state of Punjab in this November 24, 2012 file photo. To match INDIA-WALMART/ REUTERS photo
The government on Thursday announced a time-bound judicial investigation into allegations of lobbying by retail giant Wal-Mart to enter the Indian market.

However, the government remained silent on the Opposition and the Rashtriya Janata Dal’s demand of setting up a Joint Parliamentary Committee in this regard. Lok Sabha members also did not raise the issue when the investigation was announced.

Immediately after the Lok Sabha assembled, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath announced that an inquiry into the allegations would be conducted by a retired judge. “I would like to inform the House that the government will appoint a retired judge to hold an inquiry into the media reports concerning Wal-Mart. We will make this a time-bound inquiry.”

As members like Sudip Bandyopadhyay of the Trinamool Congress asked for clarification on whether a Supreme Court or a High Court judge would conduct the inquiry, Kamal Nath urged them to come up with suggestions. “You give me your suggestions outside (the Lower House). We have no problem in getting the inquiry conducted by a retired judge,” Nath said.

Shailendra Kumar of the Samajwadi Party suggested the government to appoint a retired Supreme Court judge.

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