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Raja unlikely to be allowed to appear before JPC in 2G case

PTI  New Delhi, March 14, 2013
First Published: 20:41 IST(14/3/2013) | Last Updated: 20:43 IST(14/3/2013)

Despite repeated requests, former Telecom minister A Raja is unlikely to get a chance to appear before the JPC looking into the 2G spectrum allocation issue.

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PC Chacko, who heads the Joint Parliamentary Committee on 2G issue, told reporters here that he has requested Raja to submit a written submission, which the former minister has "not rejected".

"I suggested this to Raja. He said he will discuss with his party and then respond. That is not rejection. It's only that he feels that it would have been better had he been allowed to personaly appear before the JPC. That is an opinion. His letter only expresses the wish," he said.

Asked why is JPC so reluctant to accept Raja's request, the JPC chief said that the panel's jurisdiction is not confined to examine the licenses issues during Raja's tenure in telecom ministry and if he is asked to appear before the committee, a number former telecom ministers (mostly from NDA) will have to be called before it in the name of fairness.

"He will be provided papers and documents and papers for whichever points he wants to make and the Committee will take note of his written submissions," Chacko said.

Interestingly, Raja, in a a two-page letter to Chacko, wondered "why JPC is reluctant to hear my deposition on the entire gamut of issues that it is supposed to be looking into".

"After all, the purpose of the JPC is to arrive at the truth of the matter, and my unique position to explain the policy and rationale of the government behind the issuance of UAS (telecom) licenses and grant of spectrum, as well as the sequence of events and the role of various individuals and institutions, cannot be overstated," he said.

Chacko on March 8 wrote to Raja seeking his response to a set of four questions. Chacko's letter was in response to Raja's letter to Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar on February 22, with a copy marked to the JPC Chairman, seeking an opportunity to appear before the panel and explain his version.

Chacko, who is also a spokerperson of Congress, however, said on Thursday that he has requested Raja that he can give written submissions and the JPC will provide him the necessary documents for it, if he required them.


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