PAC report has to be accepted by Speaker: Joshi

Unfazed by the "rejection" of the draft PAC report by a "majority", BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said that the Lok Sabha Speaker has no option but to accept the report on the 2G scam presented by him.

Updated: May 04, 2011, 21:48 PM IST

New Delhi: Unfazed by the "rejection" of
the draft PAC report by a "majority", BJP leader Murli Manohar
Joshi on Wednesday said that the Lok Sabha Speaker has no option but
to accept the report on the 2G scam presented by him.

"There is no other possibility and the Speaker should
not reject it," he said in an interview on the raging
controversy surrounding the draft report he submitted last
week.

He was replying to a question about what are the
options before Speaker Meira Kumar to whom he has submitted
the draft report that was sharply critical of the PMO, Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and the then Finance Minister P
Chidambaram.

Joshi rejected criticism that he was partisan in the
compilation of the report ignoring the views of members
belonging to Congress and DMK and that the report was
outsourced.

"These are serious charges. Anybody can charge
anything if it doesn`t suit them," he said.

Replying to queries about the Congress claim that the
draft report does not exist because the "majority has
rejected", he said, "This is absurd."

"In PAC there is no vote. There is no concept of
voting in the committee and there is no dissent. Only paras
are adopted and suggestions are included. In fact, some
suggestions have been incorporated," he said, citing the
example of acceptance of amendments given by members including
Yashwant Sinha and N K Singh.

He said acceptance of the report by the Speaker was
the only option available to her.

Joshi today refuted allegations about the authenticity
of the report submitted by him to the Speaker and insisted the
document was "vetted" by the CAG and had incorporated all
amendments before being handed over.

"The report was vetted by the Comptroller and Auditor
General (CAG) after the April 28 meeting. All the amendments
suggested and passed by the PAC were incorporated in the
report. Even some of the mistakes in the report, which were
pointed out by members, were corrected before submission,"
he said.

Joshi maintained the PAC had gone through the
established procedure before submitting the report to the
Speaker on April 30, the last working day of the outgoing PAC.
This included the CAG`s nod to the report.

BJP member Yashwant Sinha had suggested some
amendments to make the role of then Finance Minister P
Chidambaram more clear and hold him accountable.
Some amendments suggested by N K Singh (JD-U) during
the controversial April 28 meeting.

Sinha had asked for correction in the draft report
which stated that Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekar,
Principal Secretary in the Prime Minister`s Office T K A Nair
and Attorney General G Vahanvati had deposed before the PAC
when they had only presented their answers in writing.
All these changes were incorporated in the report
which has been submitted to Kumar.

Asked if the report had been in the making for a long
time as alleged by the Congress members, Joshi said "this is
the norm".

"There are so many meetings of the PAC. The committee
goes through so many documents. A report cannot be drafted in
the air," he said.

However, Joshi said Congress allegations were baseless
as the Hindi version of the report carried the correct
version.

Joshi, who was appointed as Chairperson of the next
PAC too on May 1, refuted charges made by UPA Ministers P
Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and Pawan Bansal about the report.

In reply to a question on Chidambaram`s contention
that even a person of below average intelligence would have
followed what he said in his letter to the Prime Minister,
Joshi said he should first read the PAC report.

"What he wanted to say could have easily been pointed
out through one of the Congress members during the PAC
meeting. Moreoever, Finance Secretary Ashok Chawla and RBI
Governor P Subbarao have accepted what is said in the PAC
report. The note is there. Any member could have pointed this
out," Joshi said.

Joshi alleged that the main intention of the Congress
members was not to object to the procedure but to the fact
that officials from the PMO were being called by the PAC.

Asked about Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal`s charge that
Joshi`s report was "not a report" as it had not been passed by
the PAC, Joshi said, "The Committee met to discuss the report
para by para. They did not allow it. Sibal had earlier said
there was zero loss in 2G spectrum allocation. Even the
Supreme Court had said the minister should speak with some
responsibility."

Joshi also dismissed all claims by the Congress about
the PAC meeting chaired by Saifuddin Soz after he had
adjourned the proceedings on April 28.

"There cannot be any meeting after the PAC Chairperson
has adjourned the proceedings. A meeting is called by the Lok
Sabha Secretariat after consulting the PAC chairperson," Joshi
said.

When asked about the basis of his accusation that UPA
ministers were sending "chits" with instructions to the
Congress members in the last PAC meeting, Joshi said,
"Everybody (in the meeting) has seen this. Other members can
confirm it. And they (the ministers) have not denied it."

Joshi appeared miffed at the statement of
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal that the PAC
report should be thrown in the dustbin.

"I do not think any Parliamentary Affairs Minister
should make such a statement. In future if any resolution of
Parliament does not suit them, they will throw it in the
dustbin. Next they will say the same for a Supreme Court
judgement," Joshi said.

He alleged that Congress had done this before the
national Emergency when they changed the Constitution and
tampered with the Fundamental Rights. They should remember
what happened after that," he said.

Asked if as Chairperson of the new PAC he would like
to summon 2G scam main accused A Raja, Joshi said it was upto
the new Committee to decide what issues should be on the
agenda.

"Now the JPC has been formed. Let it examine whether
to call Raja or not. After all, the main objection was that
since JPC has been formed, PAC should not look into 2G now,"
Joshi said.

He also rejected the charge that the draft report was
"Joshi" report, saying it was authored by the secretariat and
that is always the norm.

About the Congress claim that the report was rejected,
he said "it is a figment of imagination".

About criticism of the PM, he said the PMO knew of all
the things which were happening on spectrum pricing and did
nothing.

"This is all in the documents which is the basis for
the report," he said.

PTI