Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Friday sought to bring the curtain down on the turf war between the PAC and the JPC, asking the two Parliamentary Committees to work in close cooperation and harmony with each other.
The advice from the Speaker came when the turf war betweeen the PAC headed by Murli Manohar Joshi and JPC led by P C Chacko, intensified on who will probe the 2G spectrum allocation scam, dubbed by the Opposition as the biggest scandal in independent India.
While the details of the advice were not immediately available, Parliament sources said it meant that the two committees have been asked to avoid any disharmony while going about their task. Chacko had publicly told the PAC to withdraw suo motu from the probe into the 2G affair, noting that the JPC was set up by a resolution of Parliament, which has also approved its terms and conditions.
Joshi and Chacko had taken their quarrel to the Speaker by meeting her sometime back and requesting her to delineate the areas of functioning of the two Committees.
Joshi is a BJP veteran while Chacko is a senior Congress MP. Neither of them was immediately available for comment as Joshi is away in Pune and Chacko is campaigning in poll-bound Kerala.
Chacko's complaint was that the PAC was intruding upon the functions of the JPC and its probe could overlap what the Committee headed by him was doing. He had said inquiry by the two panels into the same subject would also amount to violation of Parliamentary rules and procedures.
Parliamentary experts earlier said that the PAC and the JPC were "responsible" committees which are expected to do their job by working in tandem. The experts had said both the veterans were the best persons to work out a formula by which both committees could work smoothly. Experts said both PAC and JPC are a creation of rules and procedures of Parliament and they are equal in status. They said that just because JPC has a limited tenure, it does not diminish its value a bit.
The PAC is already in the process of filing its report on the 2G spectrum case and is likely to complete it before its term ends on April 30. It is expected to give its report in the monsoon session of Parliament.
As against this, the JPC which has been asked to give its report by the end of the monsoon session, has held only one meeting so far.