Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar is likely to adopt a middle path in dealing with the controversial draft report on the 2G scam submitted to her by chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Murli Manohar Joshi.
A week after Joshi submitted the draft report, which was not approved by the committee, HT has learnt the Speaker is no hurry to decide the complicated issue which has snowballed into a major confrontation between the Congress and the BJP.
The Speaker’s office maintains the matter was “being examined”.
There are no specific rules or guidelines laying down the manner in which a draft report should be processed by the speaker. Sources, however, indicated it would not be possible to table a “draft report” in Parliament as requested by Joshi, since it had not been adopted at the committee’s last meeting on April 28.
“The Speaker has no over-riding powers to issue blanket orders on acceptance or rejection of parliamentary committee reports. It is for these committees and the both houses of parliament to decide,” said a highly placed source.
One of the possible options before the speaker is to request Joshi to revisit the controversial report in the reconstituted PAC.
Joshi, however, has already gone on record saying the speaker has no option but to accept the report.
His viewpoint does not find many takers. "Any parliamentary committee report either has to be adopted unanimously or by majority which can be determined by voting. In this case, the report was not adopted by majority….so this cannot be called a report,” said a member of the reconstituted PAC.
Constitutional expert and former Lok Sabha secretary-general Subhash C Kashyap said the Speaker has three options. The first is to lay the report in Parliament. The second is to decide against laying it, which would imply its rejection. The third would be to send it back to the PAC with a request to complete the process of considering the draft report.