New Delhi: The impasse over the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report on alleged irregularities in second-generation (2G) spectrum allocation continued as the ruling Congress party stuck to its position that the matter should be probed by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) formed to investigate the issue.
The PAC headed by senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murli Manohar Joshi met on Thursday could not reach a consensus on the report that is to be submitted to Parliament by 30 April. The tenure of the present committee ends on that day.
A senior member of the committee, who declined to be identified, indicated that there could be one more meeting of the PAC on 27 April.
The members of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) on 15 April had disrupted the proceedings of the PAC, citing the JPC probe.
The PAC member cited above said the committee may submit an interim report in case the full report cannot be prepared, by end of this month. The 27 April meeting will provide an opportunity for other members to give dissenting notes or suggestions.
Precedent allows the chairman to submit a report even if the majority of members disagree on its content, Joshi said. Mint could not independently verify this.
Another individual aware of developments in the committee said a draft broadly defining the PAC report, with individual chapters on the role of various departments including the prime minister’s office, was circulated among members on Tuesday.
He said the recommendations are likely to be prepared by PAC chairman Joshi by 25 April and will be circulated among members for comments.
The protest during the last meeting forced Joshi to defer the questioning of senior government officials, including attorney general G.E. Vahanvati and Central Bureau of Investigation director A.P. Singh, cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrashekhar and principal secretary to the prime minister, T.K.A. Nair.
However, the PAC member cited in the first instance said written submissions from these bureaucrats had been received by the committee secretariat and the committee will seek additional information if there is need.
The Congress-led UPA had at first resisted opposition demands for the formation of the JPC, citing the fact that the PAC was already looking into the matter. The winter session of Parliament was adjourned without transacting any major business because of the dispute. The government conceded the demand on 22 February, just ahead of the budget session.