New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Thursday rejected the Opposition demand for removal of P C Chacko as the chairman of the JPC probing the 2G scam, citing "absence of express provisions in rules".
In a letter to JPC members, Kumar said that rules and directions are "silent" on the removal of the chairman of a parliamentary committee and urged the Chairman and the members of the JPC to work out an agreeable solution to end the current "impasse" and produce, adopt and place a report before Parliament according to the rules.
As many as 15 members from Opposition parties, including some from the DMK and the Trinamool Congress, had earlier written separate letters to the Speaker contending that they had "no confidence" in the JPC chairman and had appealed to her to immediately replace him with another member of the panel on allocation and pricing of telecom licences and spectrum.
Countering the allegations, the JPC members belonging to the Congress have also written to the Speaker refuting the contentions made by the Opposition members.
Expressing "anguish" over the contentions expressed in the letters, the Speaker asked the Chairman and the members to "sink" their differences.
"The faith reposed by Parliament is betrayed by trading allegations against each other. It is, therefore, necessary for the Chairman and the members to sink their differences and present a report as mandated by Parliament," she said.
Noting that the question of replacing the JPC Chairman has been examined in the light of the existing rules and the past practice in this regard, Kumar said "...Due to absence of express provisions in the rules, it will be difficult to remove the chairman of any parliamentary committee."
She said, "It is a different matter if the Chairman himself resigns from the Chairmanship."
The Speaker said, "In view of the above, I urge upon the Chairman and the members of the JPC to work out an agreeable solution to end the current impasse and produce a report after adopting the same according to rules, place it before Parliament."