Kerala Finance Minister Thomas Isaac on Tuesday appeared before the assembly privilege and ethics committee, which summoned him in connection with the alleged leakage of a CAG audit report on Kerala Infrastructure and Investment Fund Board (KIIFB). Talking to reporters after appearing before the committee, Isaac said he did not commit any breach of privilege.
Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman and Congress MLA VD Satheeshan had moved a notice against Isaac after he allegedly divulged the contents of the CAG's audit 2018-19 report at a press meet even before it was tabled in the house. In a first in the state's history, Kerala Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan had forwarded thenotice against the minister to the privileges and ethics committee.
Satheeshan had moved a notice, under Section 159 of the Kerala Legislative Assembly, Rules of Procedure and conduct of Business against the minister for making public the details of the draft CAG report before it was tabled in the assembly. While forwarding the complaint to the committee, the Speaker had said that certain important issues had been mentioned in the complaint of the Opposition MLA while serious matters had been pointed out by the Minister in his reply and both need to be addressed by the committee.
"Since the formation of the state, this is probably the first time, such an issue has come up. The minister has pointed out that this was not just a matter of breach of privilege of the Assembly but there are certain unprecedented situations with regard to the CAG report.
So let the committee take a decision in a democratic manner after hearing both the sides," the Speaker had said. Isaac had earlier appeared before the speaker to explain his stand.