January 27 2020
JPC may not call Chidambaram
28 September 2011

NEW DELHI: While the suspense over whether the Supreme Court will ask the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe his role in the 2G scam continues, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on telecom may not call home minister P Chidambaram for an examination. 

The JPC's probe into the finance ministry's March 25, 2011 controversial note suggesting that Chidambaram - as finance minister in UPA-1 - will be limited to recording the views of finance and economic affairs secretaries R S Gujral and R Gopalan on October 12 besides seeking CBI's views later. 

Sources said committee chairman P C Chacko is not inclined to asking Chidambaram to appear before the panel and would follow the list of witnesses that are to be examined. Given the hullaballoo over the finance ministry's 2G revelation, he agreed that senior officials explain why the note was not provided to the JPC. 

With the panel's proceedings marked by a sharp political division, Chacko perhaps found it prudent to go with the Opposition members who demanded the finance ministry be called to account and all relevant ministries be asked to deliver all information related to 2G. 

It is also felt that the committee was correct in asking ministries for all relevant information as it cannot be expected to know before hand which document to call for. The committee will want to look at documentation even if it is a summary and not a part of the decision-making process. 

While the JPC experienced a heated debate on Tuesday, Congress continued to echo the government in arguing that the note in question was of little relevance to deciding culpability. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the note was written much after the 2G events and even if there was a subjective opinion it could not reflect on the alleged culpability of Chidambaram. 

Although his fate is in balance as long as the Supreme Court does not pronounce on a plea seeking a probe into Chidambaram's role, the party seems to be backing the minister with even leaders who have disagreed with him pointing out that he cannot be held solely accountable for endorsing jailed ex-telecom minister A Raja's decision to price 2G spectrum in 2008 at 2001 rates.



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