Meira Kumar rules in favour of BJP MPs continuance in JPC

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 21:35

New Delhi: Congress objections to the
inclusion of BJP leaders Jaswant Singh and Yashwant Sinha in
the JPC probing the 2G spectrum scam have fallen flat with
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar ruling in favour of their
The ruling by the Speaker came in response to a
reference from JPC chairman PC Chacko on whether there was a
conflict of interest if MPs who were ministers in governments
in the period under probe ? between 1998 and 2009 ? were
members of the panel.

Parliament sources said that Chacko`s query was a
broad one and did not mention any name.
Singh and Sinha were ministers in the BJP-led NDA
governments during the period. At the JPC`s first meeting on
March 24, Congress, Trinamool Congress and the Left parties
had raised questions on their presence in the panel.

The sources said that the Speaker has cited the
relevant rules of procedure and conduct of business in Lok
Sabha in her ruling to conclude that unless a specific
objection is pinpointed, a general query on members having
been ministers in the past cannot be a ground for debarring
them from committees.

Congress` opposition to the Public Accounts Committee
headed by BJP`s Murli Manohar Joshi continuing with the probe
into the 2G scam had also not found favour with the Speaker,
who had asked both the committees to work in close cooperation
and harmony.

Sinha had held the finance portfolio between 1998 and
2003, while Singh was the foreign minister and headed the GoM
that dealt with the telecom policy. Later, both swapped their
portfolios and the kept their ministerial berths till the NDA
government was voted out in 2004.

The terms of reference of the JPC include examining
"the telecom policy prescriptions by successive governments,
including decisions of the Union Cabinet in the allocation and
pricing of telecom licences and spectrum from 1998 to 2009?.

Meanwhile, a Congress member of the JPC said that the
report of the PAC, which is expected to be available soon, was
likely to go into it by the JPC.


First Published: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - 21:35

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