2G note controversy | JPC to summon finance secretary

2G note controversy | JPC to summon finance secretary

New Delhi: The JPC examining the 2G scam on Tuesday took exception to finance ministry’s “attempts to supress facts" by not submitting to it the controversial internal note on the issue and decided to summon finance secretary R. S. Gujral for an explanation.

As the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on telecom policies met Tuesday morning, several members questioned the non-submission of the finance ministry note which suggested that Chidambaram when he was the finance minister in 2008 could have prevented the 2G scam if he had insisted on the auction of the spectrum.

Sitaram Yechury (CPM) is understood to have dubbed the non-submission of the note by the finance ministry as a “serious act" if it was a lapse on their part.

He went a step further and termed it as a “breach of privilege" if the note was withheld deliberately by the finance ministry when it was asked by the JPC to submit to it all the documents related to the 2G spectrum allocation.

S. S. Ahluwalia of the BJP demanded that the meeting be adjourned till the finance secretary appeared before the Committee to explain the position. Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) is also learnt to have expressed similar sentiments.

After a three-hour debate on the matter, the JPC called Nripendra Mishra, who was telecom secretary between February 2004 and March 2005, for recording of evidence but soon adjourned for the day.

It was also decided to cancel the sitting tomorrow when former telecom secretary Brijesh Kumar was to appear for recording of evidence and the CBI was to update the JPC on the progress in investigation into the 2G case.

JPC chairman P. C. Chacko is understood to have expressed displeasure of the Committee on the finance ministry’s actions and decided to call the finance secretary on 13 October.