New Delhi: As the Joint Parliamentary
Committee (JPC) prepares to go into the 2G issue, its chief PC Chacko has made it clear that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
would be called before the panel only if it is "absolutely
necessary" and there is a "consensus" among members.
He pointed out that none of the four earlier JPCs
have called any Prime Minister and that such a step should be
taken only if it is required for the "fair conclusion" of the
"Calling the Prime Minister before JPC is the last
step and not the first step. Such a step can be taken only
when it is absolutely necessary and if there is consensus
among the members," Chacko said.
When referred to Singh`s offer of appearing before any
panel, the JPC chairman said the matter, if raised by any
member, will be deliberated upon by the committee and a
decision reached by consensus.
Chacko, who is Congress MP from Kerala`s Thrissur,
said the 30-member JPC, which will hold its first meeting on
March 24, will examine the telecom policy in place from 1998
to 2008, its implementation, pricing of spectrum and issuance
The aim is to ascertain if there were any problems in
the system and its implementation and recommend actions
In this connection, the committee intends to seek all
relevant documents from the ministries concerned and
communications between various departments.
The committee will be calling secretaries and other
top officials concerned of the telecom and other relevant
ministries and ministers, present or former, would be called
only if necessary.
The formation of the JPC brought down the curtains on
a three-month deadlock in both the Houses between the
government and the Opposition, which latched on to a CAG
report on alleged irregularities in 2G spectrum allocations
and pegged the presumptive loss to the national exchequer at
Rs. 1.76 lakh crore.