New Delhi, April 19 (IANS) The joint parliamentary committee (JPC) report on 2G spectrum allocation was based on facts and was unbiased, panel chief P.C. Chacko said Friday as the opposition criticised the document for being prejudicial.
“After hard work of one-and-half years, I have made a draft report. It is not a biased report and is based on facts and on the written document. I hope it is acceptable to all the members of the JPC,” Chacko told reporters.
The parliamentary panel probing the 2G scam has reportedly blamed former telecom minister A. Raja for the spectrum allocation and cleared Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram of any wrongdoing.
Declining to comment on the contents of the report, Chacko said: “We are meeting for a detailed discussion on March 25 and that day probably the draft will be adopted.”
Chacko said he was confident of sorting out differences and the report being adopted March 25.
The opposition has expressed reservations about the contents of the report and said they will take up the matter in parliament April 22, resuming its budget session after a three-week break.
“I can only say it appears more to be a Congress document not a JPC draft report,” BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, terming the leakage to the media a “gross breach of parliamentary propriety”.
Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja also slammed the document as being “prejudged and prejudicial”.
Chacko in his defence said that he had tried to make the draft report acceptable to all.
“All these allegations were always there and in the past also there were many JPCs which were controversial. I was trying to make my draft report more acceptable to all leaders of the committee and have done a fair job, and I hope my draft is acceptable to majority of the committee…,” he said.
On not summoning former telecom minister A. Raja to give his views before the committee, Chacko said: “Raja wanted to appear before the committee, he wrote to me and I had invited Raja. I had two rounds of discussion with Raja.”
“I told him that the collective decision of the leaders of parliament who drafted the terms of reference for this JPC is to examine its policy, implementation and aberration during the period of 10 years from 1999 to 2008,” he said.
“There were six telecom ministers during the 10-year period and Raja was not the only telecom minister; and if we call one minister, we have to call other ministers also,” he said.
“But Raja was an important person in this case so I suggested to him that he can give us in writing his views on the issue,” the Congress leader said, adding that the former minister had given a 13-page note that had been taken on record and circulated among members.
Chacko said his demand to appear before the committee was satisfied.
“I don’t know why again anybody makes it a charge as Raja was heard by the committee if not in person but through his written views,” he said.
An entire winter session of parliament was washed out in 2011 as the BJP did not allow the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha to run till a JPC probe was set up to look into the telecom licence policy.
The issue came up after an official auditor’s report alleged a presumptive loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore in the allocation of 2G spectrum licences during the UPA-I government.