'Summon PC as JPC witness'
With A Raja dragging Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and P Chidambaram in the 2G case, BJP leader Yashwant Sinha has asked JPC chairman PC Chacko to summon the home minister as a witness before the committee.
Several other members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee have written to Chacko with requests to make various former finance ministers as witness before the panel looking into the 2G scam.
Besides former finance ministers, at least four members have suggested that RBI governor and former finance secretary D Subbarao be made a witness.
Sinha wrote to Chacko yesterday requesting him to include the name of Chidambaram as a witness.
"I am collecting all the letters and the Committee will take a decision by consensus on whom to be called...the politicians which include former telecom ministers and former finance ministers will appear before the Committee at the end," Chacko told reporters after the JPC meeting.
Arguing that sale of equity was not sale of licence, Raja's counsel had told a court earlier this week that the DMK MP cannot be accused of corruption in the controversial 2G spectrum allocation.
"The matter (about sale of equity by spectrum licencees) was discussed between the Prime Minister and the then finance minister (P Chidambaram). The then finance minister who is now home minister had said in front of the Prime Minister that dilution of shares does not amount to sale of 2G licence as per the corporate law," his counsel had said.
Chacko said while requests have been made to call former finance ministers, there has been no demand to call the Prime Minister before the JPC.
He recalled that Sinha, a former finance minister, has volunteered to appear before the JPC as a witness.
The JPC, meanwhile, continued its questioning of former telecom secretary AV Gokak for the second day.
Gokak had on Wednesday admitted before the committee that he had overruled directives of then Prime Minister IK Gujral asking Trai to undertake a study on the demands of telecom operators and instead gave it to BICP and ICICI Bank to get a speedier report.
Chacko said while the Department of Telecom had authorised Bureau of Industrial Cost and Pricing to prepare a report on telecom industry's health, the same approval was not granted to ICICI.
Gokak, telecom secretary between 1996 and 1998, told the JPC that he had himself decided to rope in ICICI.
While ICICI completed its report quickly, the BICP gave its report after 11 months in November, 1998 after Gokak had retired.
"Though the ICICI was not authorised by DoT to prepare report, its recommendations, along with those of BCIP, were implemented by the government...the migration package of 1999 is a result of that," Chacko said.
He said Gujaral had asked Trai to prepare a report on industry's health after the operators made a representation seeking government's assistance.
A 25-year-old man from Udupi, who tried to fleece Nayak's parents by enacting an abduction drama, has finally landed in prison. Police officials said the Udupi man, identified as Varun Nayak, who was addicted to gambling, was in Goa with friends when they hatched a plan for the fake kidnapping. The concerned parents lodged a complaint at the Udupi town police station. Sources said he had earlier discontinued his studies half-way and was unemployed.
Following an all-stakeholder meeting on June 7, during which residents had raised concerns about the detrimental effects of the demolition of the twin towers on residential complexes in their vicinity, the Noida authority had asked Supertech Limited to conduct a structural audit of buildings within a 50m radius of the twin towers in Sector 93A and submit a report by June 30.
I love Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, but hey, is Bengaluru obsessed with food? If you search for 'Bangalore Foodies' on Facebook, you will find not one or two but a whopping 26 groups. Search on Facebook for 'Mumbai Foodies' and there are eight groups, even after expanding the ambit to include 'Mumbai Food and Drinks club'. Kolkata foodies turned up seven, including 'Bengali foodies'.
The battle for dominance within the Congress party in Karnataka has once again reached Delhi as Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah and state party president DK Shivakumar were summoned by the high command to resolve the differences and chart out the course for the 2023 assembly elections, people aware of the developments said.
Punjab director general of police VK Bhawra on Friday expressed Bhawra, who wrote a letter in this regard to the Punjab government and Union home ministry's willingness to go on a central deputation. Bhawra, who wrote a letter in this regard to the Punjab government and Union home ministry, has offered to avail himself of a posting at the Centre anytime soon, confirmed a senior government functionary in the state government. His wife, Anjali Bhawra, an Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer, is already on a central deputation.