2G Scam: Cornered UPA veering around to having a JPC

Monday, December 6, 2010

NEW DELHI - The UPA Government and the Congress party are reportedly veering around to allowing a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe in to the 2G spectrum scam.

Congress sources here, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that senior leaders of the party and the ruling alliance would be meeting here after 8 p.m. this evening to discuss threadbare the pros and cons of allowing a JPC probe into the alleged scam.

Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee who has been trying to convince the opposition to let the winter session of parliament function without the demand for a JPC, is expected to brief the leadership about the developments related to the issue till date.

Parliament was adjourned today after the opposition disrupted proceedings again over a demand for a JPC probe into the allocation of 2G telecom spectrum.

Shouting slogans, lawmakers gathered in the well of both houses, and prevented proceedings.

Monday was the 17th successive sitting in the Lok Sabha when Question Hour was not held during the winter session of Parliament.

Discussions are due to take place in both houses of the Parliament, but the opposition has made it difficult for the session to move forward.

Former Telecom and Information Technology Minister A. Raja has been accused of serious irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum licenses, causing losses to the exchequer estimated at Rs.1.76 trillion.

Raja had to finally resign from the Union Cabinet on November 14.n Monday, the Supreme Court also issued a notice to controversial Chief Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas on a plea seeking his removal from the key post.

The apex court issued another notice to the government asking why Thomas’ appointment should not be quashed on the ground that he faces corruption charges.

The court will take up the matter for final hearing on January 27.

“We have gone through the file, we will keep the matter for final hearing,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia said, seeking response from the government and Thomas on the petitions challenging his appointment as CVC.

Attorney General G E Vahanvati accepted the notice on behalf of the government, but declined to accept it on behalf of Thomas.

“I cannot accept notice on behalf of Thomas,” Vahanvati said when advocate Prashant Bhushan appearing for the NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation submitted that Vahanvati can accept the notice for all the respondents.

The Bench also said it wanted to keep the matter for final hearing immediately, but Vahanvati said he would require six weeks to file a response to the notice.

Bhushan said it was a serious matter about a crucial post and wanted the matter to be taken up earlier.

He submitted he would serve the notice to Thomas tomorrow itself. The court, however, decided to post the matter for January 27, stating that all pleadings in the matter has to be completed by the next date of hearing. By Sitesh Dwivedi (ANI)

Filed under: Politics

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