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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Meira puts ball back in JPC court on summoning PC

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 15, 2012
First Published: 00:29 IST(15/10/2012) | Last Updated: 01:01 IST(15/10/2012)

Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar has refused to intervene on the issue of whether the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probing the 2G spectrum scam should summon finance minister P Chidambaram as a witness.

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In response to JPC chairman PC Chacko’s letter seeking the speaker’s advice on the matter, Kumar’s office has replied that any issue related to the committee and its functioning has to be resolved by its members themselves, it is learnt.

Asked for his response, Chacko said: “The speaker may have taken some decision, but currently I am out of Delhi and not aware of what it is.”

Chacko, in his letter to Kumar on Thursday, had referred to the demand of JPC members from the opposition parties that Chidambaram be summoned before the panel as a witness.

The letter stated that “although Rule 99(1) of parliamentary rules and procedures do not permit a committee to summon a minister”, there were two precedents of the speaker having allowed it in the past. So her opinion was being sought.

Chacko’s argument didn’t find favour with Kumar, who said there appeared to be no need for her interference.

Chacko had cited the demand raised by opposition leaders Sitaram Yechury (CPM), Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP) and Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) along with BJP members. He has already rejected the BJP’s demand for summoning the PM.

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