New Delhi: As it seeks to conclude its report by the end of the year, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on 2G scam has decided to summon a body representing telecom operators to give evidence on the issue.
This is for the first time that a private body has been called by JPC to depose before it. So far former and serving officials of various ministries, government departments, investigation agencies and the CAG have deposed before the Committee.
The decision to call the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) on November 8 comes days after JPC Chairman P C Chacko had virtually ruled out calling corporate honchos.
"Calling cellular operators' body as a whole is okay. I am against calling individual licencees or those who failed to get the (2G) licence as it vitiates the atmosphere with individuals putting across their stand before JPC," Chacko said here on Friday.
He said it would help the Committee understand the point of view of the organisation.
During the October 11 meeting of the Committee, Congress member Manish Tewari had demanded calling corporates. During his briefing when Chacko was asked about Tewari's demand, he had said that "we can't have those, who made profits, sermonise to the committee on the 2G issue."
Tewari, who has since been inducted in the Council of Union Ministers, had also demanded that transcripts of the controversial Niira Radia tapes be made available to JPC. Chacko had agreed to that demand.
COAI core membership includes several private cellular operators and is considered as the official voice for the Indian GSM industry.