Chennai: Veteran Parliamentarian and a
former head of the Public Accounts Committee, Era Sezhiyan,
Friday described as "unfortunate" the "unprecedented disquiet
and discord" in the PAC deliberations on 2G scam draft report.
At the meeting yesterday, 11 of the 21 PAC members
representing Congress, DMK, SP and BSP "rejected" the draft
report that was sharply critical of Prime Minister, his office
and others as Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi walked out.
``It is unfortunate that there had been reports about the
unprecedented disquiet and discord in the deliberations of the
PAC on April 28, in consideration of the Draft Report on 2G
Scam,`` he said in a statement here.
Sezhiyan, considered to be a doyen in Parliamentary
politics, said a Parliamentary Committee enjoyed all powers,
privileges and immunities of Houses of Parliament as provided
under Article 105 of the Constitution.
``As such, it is improper for anyone outside the House, to
make any unwarranted comments on the said proceedings of the
Committee,`` he said in an apparent reference to the comments
and counter-comments by politicians on the proceedings.
``It is desirable for the public to know the important
function of the Public Accounts Committee as a watch-dog of
Parliament is to ensure that the moneys granted by Parliament
have been spent effectively, efficiently and economically. In
this regard the PAC gets the invaluable reports and sifting
analysis of the Comptroller and Auditor General and his
Officers,`` he said.
Recalling that M R Masani (1967-69), A B Vajpayee
(1969-71) himself (1971-73) and H N Mukhejjee (1973-75) had
served as PAC chiefs, he said all of them were
"uncompromisingly active" against the ruling party in the
House, but were able to get the full support and collective
responsibility of all members in the Committee, beyond party
"I remember well that in 1966 there was a censorious
remark in a PAC Report about the Ministry of Agriculture.
Provoked by that report, C Subramaniam, then Minister of
Agriculture, whose successful efforts in the Green Revolution
was appreciated by all, offered and appeared before the
Committee to give his explanations.
"At that time, the Chairman of PAC (1964-67) was R R
Morarka, a senior Congress member. Therefore, the
deliberations and the adverse remarks did not disturb the
smooth working of the Committee and did not cause intolerable
dispute under political considerations,`` he said.