Cabinet decision on setting up JPC, Devas deal today

The Union Cabinet is expected to take a decsion on constituting a JPC to probe into the 2G scam and the ISRO-Devas deal.

Updated: Feb 17, 2011, 12:13 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: After rejecting the Opposition demand for over three months, the centre finally appears in a mood to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee to investigate the 2G spectrum allocation scam, claim reports on Thursday.

If the sources are to be believed, the Union cabinet is likely to meet today to take a decision over the issue, which led to the total washout of the Winter Session due to the Opposition’s insistence for a JPC probe.

The Union Cabinet is also likely to take a final call on annulling the Antrix-Devas S-Band spectrum deal.

During an a live interaction with editors of the electronic media on Wednesday Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the controversial deal between Antrix, ISRO`s commercial arm, and Devas for S-band spectrum allocation had never been operationalised and the Cabinet Committee on Security will soon decide on terminating it.

The decision on setting up of a JPC to look into the 2G spectrum scam was taken following a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and top BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley on Wednesday.

The UPA government is worried that the deadlock over the Opposition’s demand for a JPC probe into the 2G scam is likely to spoil the upcoming Budget session if it continues.

The Budget session is due to start on February 21.

The Opposition disrupted the entire winter session last year over the issue and threatened to do the same again if its demand was not met.

With the Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the spectrum allocation now in high gear, things appear to be in track for the UPA crisis managers including Pranab Mukherjee, Ghulam Nabi Azad etc, who have been entrusted the task of convincing the Opposition leaders over the issue.

According to the in-principle agreement worked out, Prime Minister Singh will make a formal announcement at the start of the session along the lines of the two-paragraph notice issued by PV Narasimha Rao in 1992 which led to the establishment of a JPC on the securities scam.

The opening day of the session is reserved for the customary President`s address to the joint session of Parliament and later both Houses meet for a brief while when a copy of the speech is tabled.

Regular proceedings of both Houses would start on February 22 and it is understood that the government would move its motion on the matter then.
The Congress party has begun consultations with Left parties, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Biju Janata Dal, the Janata Dal (Secular), the Rashtriya Lok Dal, and the Telugu Desam Party for building consensus over the issue.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister also assured the nation that all those guilty in the major scam will not be spared as his government is dead serious in tackling corruption.