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Top govt officials to appear before PAC in 2G case

New Delhi(PTI) : Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has asked Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar, Principal Secretary in PMO T K A Nair, Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati, CBI Director A P Singh and Law Secretary D R Meena to depose before it on April 15-16 in the 2G spectrum case.

Vahanvati, Singh and Meena have been asked to present themselves before the PAC on April 15 while Chandrasekhar and Nair will appear the next day, according to sources.
The April 15-16 sessions will be the last hearings by the outgoing PAC.

The PAC, headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, is already in the process of filing its report on the 2G spectrum case and is likely to complete it before its term ends on April 30.

The new PAC, in which Joshi will continue to be the chairperson, will take charge on May 1 and is set to carry on the probe into the anomalies in 2G spectrum allocation.

Chandrasekhar and Nair have been asked to appear as the PAC is likely to scrutinise the role of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in the controversial allocation of 2G spectrum in 2008.

The two senior bureaucrats are likely to be asked questions on the communications between the Finance Ministry, the Department of Telecom and the PMO on the allocation of 2G spectrum.

“After listening to the views of the then Finance Secretary (and now RBI Governor Duvvuri Subbarao), it is necessary to get the views of the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister,” a source said.

Subbarao, who was the Finance Secretary when the 2G spectrum allocations were made in January 2008, had appeared before the PAC on February 3.

In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the government had said that on the issue of 2G allocation the Finance Secretary had raised certain queries on November 27, 2007 regarding the entry fee. A reply to this was given by the Telecom Secretary on November 29, 2007.

Sources said the two top officials could also be asked questions based on the Prime Minister’s recent statement that the Finance Ministry and Telecom Ministry had concurred on the issue, after which he did not press the matter further.

Vahanvati is likely to be asked about the legal opinions he may have given to the Telecom Ministry when he was Solicitor General in UPA-I. He has been made a witness by CBI in its chargesheet filed before the special court in the scam.

The CBI director has been asked to appear before the PAC for the second time. He also had a one-to-one meeting with Joshi sometime back.

The CBI is investigating the 2G spectrum case and has already filed a chargesheet.

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