Dr. A Gopalakrishnan ‘stifled’ on nuclear safety Bill

Courtesy: DailyMail

Was a former Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) chairman prevented from expressing his views on the nuclear safety Bill because he harboured reservations about some of its provisions?

Documents suggest Dr A. Gopalakrishnan sent at least three emails to Parliament officials to seek a hearing

This appeared to be the case because documents in possession of Mail Today suggest that Dr A. Gopalakrishnan sent at least three emails to Parliament’s standing committee on science and technology chairman T. Subbarami Reddy and the Rajya Sabha secretariat to seek a hearing. But his repeated requests did not evoke a response.

In the emails – sent on November 14, 2011, January 3 and January 29 in 2012 – to Reddy and the Upper House secretariat officials, Gopalakrishnan sought to be called to present his views on the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority Bill, 2011, before the panel. Sources in the committee also revealed that at least three of its member-MPs, too, had demanded that he should be allowed to appear before the panel.

Gopalakrishnan’s second email to Reddy mentioned that he had not received any written communication from the committee. ‘However, I got a phone call from… the Rajya Sabha secretariat in the last week of December, asking me whether I will be able to testify before the committee on January 5, 2012,’ Gopalakrishnan said in the email.

He said though he pleaded for the date to be changed owing to an emergency at his home on that day, no reply was given to him. In his third email, Gopalakrishnan said while he telephoned the Rajya Sabha secretariat officials for a date around January 15, no response was forthcoming.

‘I have not received any reply to either of my two requests. Failing to hear from them, I took the initiative to phone Mr Chatterjee in the committee’s secretariat and requested him to bring this matter to your kind attention. Though he promised to get back to me, he never did so,’ Gopalakrishnan said in the email.

For his part, Reddy contended that the report on the Bill was yet to be tabled and Gopalakrishnan could still present his views before the panel if he wanted to. ‘I have not received any message from Gopalakrishnan. All those who wanted to present their views were allowed a hearing,’ he said, his claim flying in the face of the three emails sent by the AERB former chief.

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