Terming as "unfortunate" the showcause notices served on him and his son by the Enforcement Directorate in the Iraqi oil-for-food scam, former external affairs minister Natwar Singh on Sunday said his lawyers would give befitting reply to the department.
"It is very unfortunate that a department of central government is harassing and trying to defame me," Natwar Singh, on a tour in Rajasthan, told PTI over phone.
Natwar Singh, who has been suspended from Congress Party, said that he had not seen the notice so far but "my lawyers have told me that ED has served notice for its probe in the oil-for-food scam."
"This is very unfortunate. After the Pathak panel probe, I was given a clean chit and the probe authority made it clear that there was no financial irregularities or personal financial gain to me," Natwar Singh said.
"This move of the ED has surprised me and I can only say that they (ED) are trying to justify their 10-11 months work though they have found nothing against me," he said.
He said it was a "sorry state of affairs" in the country that a particular department of the central government was going overboard in "harassing and defaming me".
Asked whether he was intending to file any defamation case against the ED as reported by some sections of media, Natwar Singh said, "Everyone is saying what they want. Even media is doing so. No one has contacted me and why should I file a defamation suit. My lawyers will examine the whole issue and then reply to the ED."
Natwar Singh and others are believed to be filing reply to the ED notices by September 14.
The former external affairs minister said he would be returning to Delhi soon after thanking the people of his constituency who had organised a massive rally in his support.