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2G: PAC to quiz PMO officials

Parliament’s public accounts committee (PAC) may not have taken up on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s offer to appear before the panel so far but it has called his two top officers in the 2G scam probe.

delhi Updated: Apr 08, 2011 01:51 IST
Saroj Nagi

Parliament’s public accounts committee (PAC) may not have taken up on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s offer to appear before the panel so far but it has called his two top officers in the 2G scam probe. Cabinet secretary KM Chandrashekhar and principal secretary in the prime minister’s office TKA Nair are called to depose in the case.

The duo will appear before the panel on April 16, a day before, attorney general G Vahanvati, law secretary DR Meena and CBI director AB Singh will give evidence.

Chandrashekhar and Nair would be questioned on the PMO’s role in the allocation of 2G spectrum. This will include the communications between the finance ministry, telecom department and the PMO on the issue. The PM’s reported statement that he did not press with the matter as the finance and telecom ministries had concurred on the issue will also be discussed.

“After listening to the views of the then finance secretary, it is necessary to get the views of the cabinet secretary and the principal secretary to the PM,’’ said a PAC member.

Vahanvati, who was soliticitor general during UPA-I, would be asked about the legal opinion he had given to the telecom ministry on 2G spectrum allocation. The CBI director has already appeared before the panel once.

The April 15-16 meetings may be the last by the outgoing PAC. The new PAC — which will take over on May 1 and will continue to be chaired by Murli Manohar Joshi — is being targeted by the Congress and joint parliamentary chairman PC Chacko for going beyond the CAG report while probing the telecom scandal.

Chacko had sought Speaker Meira Kumar’s arbitration in their turf war. But Kumar may find that difficult as both panels are creations of Parliament and there is no conflict between the two probes.