No free hand for govt officials: Antony on ISRO controversy

"In a democracy. Nobody can expect a free hand. Checks and balances are part of it. Ministers, scientists, officials, none of us can expect to have free hand," he told reporters at the Aero India press conference here.

Media reports had stated that the Department of Space, which comes directly under the Prime Minister, had allocated 70 MHz of S-Band spectrum to Devas Multimedia for Rs 1,000 crore. The actual value of this was estimated to be around Rs 2 lakh crore, the reports claimed.

The Prime Minister's Office had yesterday denied reports, saying no decision has been taken and hence charges of revenue loss were without any basis.Antony was asked about the extent of freedom to government officials in the backdrop of the ISRO controversy.
The Defence Minister added that all the Government functionaries including Ministers and officials were accountable to the people and Parliament.

"At the end of the day, we are accountable to Indian people and parliament," he added.
Antony said in the Defence Ministry, "whatever free hand is required, we are giving it and that is why we are progressing."

He said Government did not interfere in the day to day functioning of departments "but at the same time, there are checks and balances in the systems itself.”

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