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LS Speaker returns PAC draft report on 2G spectrum to Joshi

New Delhi: In a snub to PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has returned the controversial draft report filed by him on the 2G spectrum allocation.

“The draft report on the 2G issue has been returned to the PAC Chairman”, sources in Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee(PAC) said today.

The rare action by the Speaker came some one and half months after Joshi, a BJP leader, submitted the draft report to the Speaker on April 30, the last date of his previous term as head of the Committee, and insisted that it be tabled in Parliament.

He had sent it to the Speaker unmindful of ‘rejection’ of the draft report on 2G scam by UPA members. The draft report was sharply critical of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, PMO and the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram among others. It also came down heavily on former Telecom Minister A Raja.

Joshi had said that as chairman he had the right to send the report to the Speaker despite the note of dissent.

“I have submitted the report. My expectation is that the Speaker should accept it and place it in Parliament,” he had said.

Rules stipulate that committee reports could be tabled in both the Houses of Parliament only after it was approved by the panel that prepared it.

Terming as “unconstitutional” the claim that 11 MPs of the 21-member committee had “rejected” the report, he had said such a possibility does not exist till the report is read by members and “discussed” para by para.

Tracing the ‘problems’ in the functioning of the committee, Joshi had alleged that trouble started when a decision was taken to call top officials of the PMO, Cabinet Secretary, Attorney General and CBI Director for questioning this month.

Congress General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said it was the prerogative of the Speaker to take a decision on the draft report. “It is the prerogative of the Speaker. How can any party comment on it?” Dwivedi, who is the party’s Media department chief, asked.

Party spokesman Manish Tewari said “as the Joint Parliamentary Committee is now fully seized of the matter, it would be appropriate if PAC should now focus its time and energy elsewhere”.

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