Congress defends Salman and Louise Khurshid

Congress defends Salman and Louise Khurshid

Defending Law Minister Salman Khurshid and his wife Louise Khurshid against charges that their NGO had siphoned off lakhs of rupees meant for the physically challenged, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari Saturday said "untruth cannot become the basis for crucifying anybody".

"Ultimately, whether something is true or false has to be judicially adjudicated before there is a finality to it. Untruth cannot become the basis of crucifying anybody," Tewari told reporters here.

"Indian jurisprudence holds that you and I enjoy equal protection of the laws and are innocent until proven guilty," he added.

Tewari rubbished media reports claiming that a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report had pointed to irregularities in the utilisation of grants given by the government to the Khurshids' Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust.

"We are also reliably informed that the CAG report which has been reported by some newspapers is not the CAG report at all," Tewari said.

According to a sting operation conducted by the TV Today Group, the union social welfare and empowerment ministry had granted Rs.71.50 lakh to the Khurshids' trust for distributing tricycles and hearing aids to the disabled in 17 districts of Uttar Pradesh.

While Salman Khurshid is the president of the trust, his wife is the project director.

Louise Khurshid Friday filed a civil defamation case in the Delhi High Court against the TV Today Group, seeking damages of Rs.100 crore, said court sources.

India Against Corruption (IAC) activist Arvind Kejriwal earlier in the day demanded the arrest of Salman Khurshid and his wife.

"We demand that Khurshid and his wife be arrested immediately. If he remains in the council of ministers, he will destroy all the evidence that is available against him and his family," the IAC leader, who had launched a political party recently, said.

Slamming Kejriwal, Louise said that the IAC activist was an "ambulance chaser" and that it was unfair that Kejriwal was "using the handicap to try and build a political campaign".

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