2G scam: PC Chacko appointed chairman of JPC

New Delhi: Senior Congress member PC Chacko was on Friday made the Chairman of the JPC on the 2G spectrum issue, setting in motion the probe into what the opposition is alleging as the biggest scam in independent India.

65-year old Chacko, who represents Thrissur in Kerala in the Lok Sabha, was appointed the head of the 30-member high level panel by Speaker Meira Kumar, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters.

The JPC, having 20-members from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha, came into being a few days back, ending three-months of deadlock in Parliament between the government and the opposition, which latched on to a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General late last year which spoke of a presumed loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

The two Houses of Parliament have passed resolutions approving the setting up of the JPC.

A Raja was forced to quit in November as Telecom Minister in the wake of the CAG report and is currently lodged in Tihar jail after being questioned by the CBI. Government says that Raja was being prosecuted for the possibility of criminal culpability.

Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal has assured Parliament that Government would not spare any wrong-doer.

The JPC will examine irregularities and aberrations, if any, in the implementation of government decisions and policy prescriptions on telecom licences and spectrum from 1998 to 2009.

The Parliamentary panel will also make recommendations to ensure appropriate procedures for allocation and pricing of telecom licences.

It will examine policy prescriptions and their interpretation by successive governments, including the decisions of the Union Cabinet and the consequences thereof, in the allocation and pricing of licences and spectrum.

Government had agreed to the JPC after the Opposition threatened to disrupt the Budget session of Parliament as well, after almost the entire winter session was washed out.