Shipping Minister questions Indian Naval Chief over SSCP remark

via Courtesy:S. Kalyanaraman published on January 25, 2008

New Delhi: Union Shipping Minister T.R.Baalu, in a letter to Union Defence Minister demands apology and clarification from Indian Naval Chief Admiral Suresh Mehta for defaming UPA and SSCP project.

Few days back Naval chief, Admiral told that “after implementation of the Setusamudram Channel Project large-sized naval vessels cannot use the channel”
In the letter shipping Minister accuses the Naval Chief as Irresponsible and term his comment as unfortunate and unnecessary. The Naval Chief’s remark as an embarrassment to Central Government.Shipping Minister Baalu says this project will inturn strengthen the Nation’s defence.

This is a clear attempt by a Union Minister to pressurise an expert to change his position in such a way as to support the Shipping Ministry. This is a gross violation of natural justice and the fundamental right of an expert to express his views freely, honestly and untrammeled by political pressures or command performance.

This is an illegal interference and should be taken note of by the Hon’ble Court. It is surprising that a Minister for Transport should be offering advice on Defence issues. It is for the Defence Ministry to determine if the Setu channel project will strengthen the nation’s defenses and it is certainly beyond the purview of the Transport Minister.

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