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2-day grill time in JPC, telecom brass to be quizzed

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 17, 2011
First Published: 22:59 IST(17/5/2011) | Last Updated: 23:03 IST(17/5/2011)

The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) will start probe into the 2G scam by questioning some top telecom officials over the next two days even though the status of the report given by public accounts committee chairman Murli Manohar Joshi to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on the issue remains unclear.


Starting Wednesday, telecom secretary R Chandrashekhar, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman JS Sarma and top officials of the enforcement directorate, the revenue department and other agencies will appear before the 30-member panel.

The panel, chaired by Congress leader PC Chacko, is mandated to look into the telecom policy since 1998.

While the panel has so far met only once, Chacko has had a running battle with Joshi over the scope of the PAC's probe.

Even as the two sides battle it out in public, the Speaker is yet to give her opinion on the report. Meanwhile, the JPC, which was set up under opposition pressure, is now on the job.

"The focus of the JPC will be on examining whether licence procedures have been followed, if licences have been issued on merit and whether licences should be cancelled, in case any irregularity was found," said a well placed source.

Summoning jailed former telecom minister A Raja and top executives of the beneficiary companies is not ruled out.

"We will have to summon anybody connected with 2G spectrum allocation," the source said. Keen to complete its task by the end of the monsoon session in August, the JPC may set up a technical committee to quantify the loss from the scam.

This is because various agencies have given different estimates of the loss which ranges from Rs. 20,000 crore to Rs. 1.90 lakh crore.

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