Speaker clarifies decision on JPC report after BJP`s criticism
In the backdrop of criticism by BJP, the Lok Sabha Secretariat on Tuesday justified the Speaker`s decision not to allow any discussion on JPC report on 2G scam.
New Delhi: In the backdrop of criticism by BJP, the Lok Sabha Secretariat on Tuesday justified the Speaker`s decision not to allow any discussion on JPC report on 2G scam, saying there is no rule, precedent or parliamentary convention which permits it before the report`s presentation.
BJP and CPI were highly critical of Speaker Meira Kumar`s ruling yesterday disallowing any discussion on the issue at the presentation stage during Zero Hour.
The report, which gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the 2G spectrum scam saying he was "misled" by the then Telecom Minister A Raja, was tabled in the Lok Sabha by JPC Chairman P C Chacko amid pandemonium.
"There is no rule/direction or precedent or parliamentary convention or any constitutional obligation allowing a discussion or raising of a point of order before the presentation of a report," the Secretariat said in a statement today.
It insisted that ever since 1952, in all the Lok Sabhas so far, thousands of reports have been presented to the House and "on no report ever a discussion has taken place or a point of order was raised before the presentation of the Report".
"The Report had been duly adopted by the Committee by a majority of 16 to 11 in a meeting held on 27th September, 2014 in which Sh. Sinha was also present. Once the Report has been duly adopted, it has to be presented to the House," it noted.
CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta and Sinha had questioned why they were not allowed to speak despite having given prior notices on the issue.
The Secretariat said, "In a letter on December 6, Sinha had requested the Speaker to permit him to raise objections before the presentation of the Report to the House in regard to violation of certain rules during deliberations in the Committee.
"The Speaker examined the letter in the light of the relevant Rules of the House. There is no rule allowing any discussion or raising of objections before presentation of the Report. It is mandatory for the Chairman to present duly adopted Report to the House as per the terms of reference of the JPC," the Secretariat said.
A report is not actually available before the House for a discussion unless it is presented to the House. "Only after a report has been presented and becomes a property of the House, it can be discussed."
Besides, the Secretariat said that no point of order can be raised after the Speaker has given a ruling on a subject as every ruling is final in the matter.
"It is the parliamentary convention that the decision from the Speaker cannot be questioned or challenged through a point of order or through a discussion,", it said.