Ex-ministers' on JPC: Chacko defends his decision

Thrissur: Chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on 2G spectrum issue P C Chacko today defended his decision to refer to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar the issue of propriety of former ministers of NDA government continuing as members in the panel.

Reacting to BJP's criticism on the matter, Chacko said he had only acted in accordance with rules of procedures governing parliamentary committees including the JPCs.

"The procedure followed by the JPC is that if any member raised any objection about the continuance of any other member on the panel, the matter should be referred to the Speaker, whose decision will be final," Chacko said today.

During the first meeting of the JPC on March 24, some members had raised objections to former ministers of the NDA government -- Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh -- continuing as members of the JPC probing 2G spectrum allocation issue.

"As Chairman of the JPC, I did not express my opinion on this matter. Based on the consensus of the JPC, I referred the matter to the Lok Sabha Speaker," Chacko said.

Chacko said BJP leaders should not have reacted on this issue as if there was violation of procedures. "There is no violation of rules and procedures in the way I handled the matter. It is the prerogative of the JPC to report the matter to the Speaker," he said.

"All parliamentary committees conduct their work in accordance with the Rules of Procedures of the House. Any one making comments on the functioning of such panels, specially the JPC, should keep this in mind," he said.

"The JPC felt it was an issue to be referred to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. I have done only that. If anybody feels that it is a non-issue, they are contesting the collective wisdom of the JPC," he said.