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'Disappointed over PM's no to appear before JPC'

delhi Updated: Apr 09, 2013 13:09 IST

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Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha informed on Tuesday, he has written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stating he is 'surprised and disappointed' over his refusal to depose before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on 2G scam.

Expressing his unhappiness with the Prime Minister's response, Sinha said that he sent him a reply on Monday commenting upon all the three issues raised by him.

"I said if the JPC were to come to conclusions only on the basis of records and documents then it has wasted its time in trying to call witnesses to depose before it. The second point I made is that you had made a grand offer to appear before the PAC knowing full well that just as the JPC has a right to call anyone, the PAC also had a right minus the ministers and the Prime Minister; but still you made this grand offer if you were right then how can you not be wrong now," said Sinha.

"The third point I made is that whether you have something to hide or not is a question, which I will contest because the government has been hiding documents from the JPC and you are all aware that very important documents were brought to the JPC only after it came in the public domain through the media and the JPC demanded that those documents be placed before the JPC," he added.

Sinha further said in his letter that it was decided in the JPC that all departments of the government should make available to the panel all the documents on the 2G matter, but even after this they failed to do so.

"And therefore, it is a lie that the government had nothing to hide and they made available all the documents, the JPC had to demand and literally snatch those documents from the government and the government shared them with the JPC only reluctantly. And finally I told the Prime Minister that I am surprised and very disappointed at his response," he added.

Reiterating that neither the government nor he has anything to hide in the 2G matter, the Prime Minister replied to Yashwant Sinha's letter on April 2, and said that the decision regarding which individuals should be asked to appear before JPC is a matter that is to be decided by the committee and its chairman.

Dr. Singh in his letter said that all pertinent records and documents available with the government have already been placed with the Joint Parliamentary Committee looking into the 2G matter.

"I have received your letter of 1 April, 2013 regarding the Joint Parliamentary Committee looking into the 2G matter. You are aware that all pertinent records and documents available with the Government have already been placed at the disposal of the JPC. I have said from the beginning that neither the Government nor I have anything to hide in this matter," said excerpt of Dr. Singh's letter to Sinha.

"The decision as to what evidence should be sought and which individuals should be asked to appear before the JPC is a matter that needs to be decided internally by the JPC and its Chairman," the letter adds.

Sinha, who has described the functioning of the JPC on 2G scam as 'scandalous', had demanded that the Prime Minister and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram appear before it for the truth to come out.

Sinha, also a member of the JPC, had raised serious objections over not convening of the panel meeting for two months now and demanded that then Telecom Minister A. Raja, who has been wanting to appear before the JPC, be allowed to do so as he is a key witness in the scam.

He had written to the Prime Minister, asking him to appear before the JPC.

Sinha had earlier lashed out at JPC chairman PC Chacko for not inviting A. Raja to depose before it in connection with the 2G spectrum scam, saying it's a very serious issue.

He alleged that the parliamentary panel is being used to conceal truth in the 2G scam.

Chacko had expressed his displeasure over Sinha's latter to the Prime Minister, and termed it to be a ''political stunt and against norms''.

Raja was forced to resign from the Union Cabinet after a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs. 1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue.