Deputy leader of the opposition in Parliament Gopinath Munde told rediff.com he would seek the help of Right to Information Act to find out who was responsible for according the Padma Bhushan Award to non resident Indian hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal.
"I will not only raise this issue in Parliament but will also seek the help of RTI Act to ferret out who was responsible for such a gaffe. It is not the country's top secret that four chargesheets had been filed against Sant Singh Chatwal and he had been arrested later by the Central Bureau of Investigation in a case related to a US $9 million fraud related to SBI," Munde said.
Though he declined to pin the blame on any single person Munde said that the award is conferred only after receiving the nod from the home ministry and the Prime Minister's Office.
They in turn receive inputs and feedback from various intelligence agencies, who Munde claims, have failed in their duty to sound the two ministries.
"I am sure the government will come clean on the matter and help stop denigration of such a prestigious award. The Union government will have to reverse the award," he said.
Munde had dashed a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to reverse the award conferred upon Sant Singh Chatwal as soon as the news broke out on January 25. A copy of the same letter (in possession of rediff.com) has been forwarded to President Pratibha Patil as well, Munde said.
In the same letter Munde had stated that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp had sued Chatwal over unpaid loans as a guarantor to New York Bank that resulted in the bank losing US $12 million.