M A I N   N E W S

Divisions in PAC over 2G issue
Faraz Ahmad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 15
All the hype generated in the last few months over Parliament Public Accounts Committee (PAC) probing the 2G scam ended in an anti-climax today with the committee abruptly ending its proceedings without examining the Attorney General and the CBI director today. It also abandoned the examination of the Cabinet Secretary and the Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary, which was scheduled for tomorrow .

According to sources, the pre-scheduled meeting for April 21 may also not be held now and the PAC report may not be consensual.

The committee had today summoned Union Law Secretary DR Meena to appear before it at 11 am. Then at 12 noon, CBI director AP Singh, already appeared once, was to reappear before the PAC. Attorney General of India GE Vahnavati was scheduled to face the committee at 3 pm in the post-lunch session. But as soon as the committee met, sources said, heated discussions started over summoning some of the witnesses. Congress member of the committee KS Rao questioned the wisdom of summoning these witnesses. Rao had reportedly asked the committee members: “When the matter is subjudice, how can we take it up here?”

According to sources, Rao had pointed out that some of these witnesses were being examined by the courts in the same case and, therefore, they might not be able to say much to the PAC. Other Congress members in the committee - Saifuddin Soz, Naveen Jindal and Jitendra Singh - also supported Rao’s argument. There were some protests from the other side saying how could the committee go back on the issue after summoning them as witnesses.

In the last meeting of the PAC, Anil Ambani had also pleaded to the PAC that since he was to defend himself in the courts, he couldn’t tell much to the committee.

Rao along with another Congress member Arun Kumar had created a stir in the PAC on April 5 when the two handed over a joint letter to PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi of the BJP questioning PAC locus standi after the constitution of the JPC.

Today’s matter remained unresolved among the members till 1 pm when they dispersed for lunch without admitting either Meena or AP Singh.

Around 2 pm, members returned and called Meena. Within 10 minutes Meena was out. Soon thereafter, Vahnavati also arrived and was ushered into Joshi’s room. Till 4.30 pm PAC members kept arguing but failed to resolve and finally AP Singh and Vahnavati were informed that they would not be summoned. A little later, members leaving the meeting confirmed that tomorrow’s meeting stood cancelled. Union Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar and Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister TKA Nair had been asked earlier to appear before the PAC tomorrow. There were also indications that the April 21 meeting may also not be held now. 





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