New Delhi, Sep 19: The opposition Thursday voiced concern over reports that the government was seeking to bypass a key provision in its nuclear liability law to accommodate US concerns ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Washington visit, while the ruling Congress said it would never take a decision against national interest.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad termed as “brazen” and “unacceptable” reports that the government was seeking a clarification on a key provision of its nuclear liability law.
“The reported media observation that government is trying to compromise the importance of Section 17 (b) of the Nuclear Liability Act passed by parliament is very worrisome and a cause of serious concern,” Prasad told reporters.
However, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid sought to allay fears that the government was trying to bypass the key provision of the nuclear liability law that seeks to put the onus on the supplier in the case of an accident.
Addressing reporters, Khurshid said nobody can overrule the laws framed by parliament. “Then how can the government do so? This is impossible. The government will not take any decision which is against the nation’s interest.”
He said the inputs given by various departments on the clause would be studied and a decision taken which is “in the paramount interest of the country”.
He stressed that “the views of four other nuclear regime nations have changed towards us after signing of the Indo-US civil nuclear deal”.
Prasad alleged that the government by its move was seeking to compromise the liability of the supplier in case of an accident.
He also alleged the entire exercise is being done “in a hurry” ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s meeting with US President Barack Obama on Sep 27.