Cabinet meet to decide tabling of report


The unscheduled meeting of the Cabinet has been convened after the Opposition BJP and other parties on Monday stalled the proceedings of both Houses of Parliament.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to chair the Cabinet as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is on a 10-day-tour to the US and Port-of-Spain. The meeting is likely to take place at 9-30 am – one-and-a-half hour before Parliament meets again on Tuesday.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal told journalists on Monday that the government needed to convene a meeting of the Union Cabinet before the commission’s report was placed before Parliament.
With what is purported to be a comprehensive summary of the report already in the public domain, the government may consider tabling it before Parliament sooner than planned, Sources, however, said the government would have to review the law and order situation across the country and assess if the report, if made public officially, could trigger a flare-up ahead of the 17th anniversary of the demolition of the Babri Mosque on December 6.

According to the Commission of Inquiry Act, the government has to table the probe-panel’s findings along with an Action Taken Report in the Parliament within six months after the report was submitted to it.  The government decided to convene the meeting of the Union Cabinet, after Congress president and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi had a meeting with Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister A K Antony and her political secretary Ahmed Patel in the evening.

Bansal, however, later indicated that the government might table the report in Parliament earlier than it had originally planned to do so.

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