No reason cited to return PAC report on 2G: Joshi

PAC chairperson said committee`s report on 2G scam would now be presented to new parliamentary panel.

New Delhi: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson Murli Manohar Joshi on Friday said he would present the report on 2G scam, which was returned by the Speaker, to the new committee headed by him for a final call.

His comments came days after Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar returned the PAC`s controversial report on the 2G spectrum allocation that had criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his "indirect" role in the alleged telecom scam.

Joshi had gone ahead with the report and submitted it to the Speaker though a majority of the panel members had rejected it.

With the Speaker returning the report, it cannot be tabled in Parliament and Joshi will have to re-submit it after getting it passed by the panel. The veteran BJP leader submitted the report to the Speaker on April 30.

Joshi on Friday said the document he submitted to the Speaker was a "PAC report" and not just his report. However, he maintained that deciding what should be done with the report was the "prerogative of the Speaker" and she had chosen to return it.

Joshi said the issue was not over yet and he would place the document before the new committee, of which he is head, to decide its fate. A PAC is formed for a year.

"The 2G report, which has been returned by the Speaker, will be tabled in the new PAC and it will then decide what should be done," he told reporters here.

He, however, refused to comment on whether the committee would resort to voting in the PAC to decide the next course of action.

The report was critical of Manmohan Singh and alleged that he had an "indirect" role in the spectrum allocation scandal. It also criticised P Chidambaram, who was finance minister when then IT and communications minister Andimuthu Raja sold scarce radio waves to private telecom firms allegedly at throwaway prices, causing the nation a colossal loss of revenue.

The 270-page report on the controversial 2G spectrum allotment was rejected by 11 of 21 members of the panel belonging to the Congress, the DMK, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).

Joshi, while submitting the report to Meira Kumar`s office, had hoped "that the Speaker will accept it and place it in Parliament".

But according to committee rule, reports cannot be tabled in Parliament if a majority of the panel members do not approve it.

The term of the Joshi-headed panel expired on the day he submitted the report to the speaker. He had asserted that PAC reports cannot have notes of dissent appended to them, and said that the members, who rejected the report, had no authority to do so. "This is wrong to say that 11 people have rejected it. That is unconstitutional."

Joshi said the PAC, a highly empowered committee of Parliament to oversee government spending, could not be run on party lines.


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