Debate to make house panel proceedings public revives
Live coverage of quizzing of media baron Rupert Murdoch by the UK House of Commons panel over phone-hacking scandal has revived the debate for telecasting proceedings of parliamentary committees.delhi Updated: Jul 21, 2011 23:49 IST
Live coverage of quizzing of media baron Rupert Murdoch by the UK House of Commons panel over phone-hacking scandal has revived the debate for telecasting proceedings of parliamentary committees.
Independent Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar, who had taken up the issue with then Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee in 2008, says time has come for telecasting of proceedings of standing committees of Parliament “so that the public at large can appreciate the issues involved.”
Chandrasekhar, who had written to several leaders including Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, told HT, “Such a coverage will improve the quality of engagement of such panels and bring better perspective to the media's understanding.”
He said, “Rather than I taking up the issue again, I am willing to back the media's demand in this regard.” The reaction from the main political parties is mixed. “It is a very sensitive issue. It should be decided in consultation with political parties and presiding officers of the two houses of Parliament,” said Shakeel Ahmed, Congress leader.
BJP's Chandan Mitra said in a TV debate that “the more you bring in the media, there will be more instances of grand standing.” He, however, agreed that proceedings of some panels dealing with controversies like the 2G scam could be opened up. He also asked, “why not let televise proceedings in the court?”
“When you have key officials like the CBI chief deposing before the public accounts committee or joint parliamentary committee the 2G scam, a televised coverage will open everyone's perspective,” he said.
Chandrasekhar felt that, “If you don't allow televised coverage, you can at least release the transcripts.”