'Not inevitable' to call Raja as witness before JPC: Chacko
Thrissur (Ker): JPC Chairman P C Chacko on Saturday said 'it is not inevitable' to call former Telecom Minister A Raja, prime accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case, before the Joint Parliamentary Committee as a witness as all the main witnesses had been called and evidence taken.
"It is not inevitable at this juncture to call Raja as all main witnesses have been called and evidence taken," he said.
He was responding to a query on CPI leader and Joint Parliamentary Committee member Gurudas Dasgupta's letter to him stressing the need to call Raja as witness.
Chacko said Raja had written to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to allow him tender evidence as witness before the JPC. Several other persons have also expressed a similar desire but it was impractical to call all of them, he said.
'A final decision, however, in this regard will be taken after discussing it with all JPC members' Chacko said.
On Feb 22, Raja had written to Meira Kumar and Chacko, expressing willingness to appear before JPC as witness. He claimed he has been "condemned unheard" in the 2G scam and wanted to present his side of the story.
Chacko said JPC had asked to prepare the draft report which would be ready by the first week of May. Thereafter a JPC meeting would be convened to finalize it and the report would have to be submitted before the end of the current Parliament session on May 22, he said.
On Dasgupta's contention that Raja's name was there in the list of witnesses prepared, Chacko said it was not correct as no final list of witnesses had been prepared.
All members had given a list of witnesses to be called before JPC and no final list was prepared by JPC,Chacko said.
DMK members in the JPC T R Baalu and T Siva have been pressing Chacko to call Raja as a witness.
However Congress members in JPC are against calling Raja as witness as his deposition could be used by the opposition, including BJP and the Left, to corner the government. Raja has maintained he had kept the Prime Minister's Office and others informed about his decisions on 2G licencing issue.