Journalist appears before PAC on 2G issue

New Delhi: A senior journalist with a national daily on Tuesday appeared before Parliament`s Public Accounts Committee examining alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation.

The PAC, headed by Murli Manohar Joshi, recorded the evidence of J Gopikrishnan, a Special Correspondent with `The Pioneer`, and sought to know who was the whistleblower who gave him documentary evidences based on which he filed newsreports on the alleged scam in 2G spectrum allocation.

However, Gopikrishnan, the first journalist to be asked to appear before the panel on the 2G issue, refused to name the whistleblower citing journalistic norms. Joshi then asked members not to press the point further.

Gopikrishnan had filed a series of reports on the alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocations and had pursued the matter vigorously.

He was questioned about the authenticity of the documents on the basis of which he filed the newsreports.

Some members also asked the journalist whether he had met the then Telecom Minister A Raja to which he replied in the affirmative. Gopikrishnan told the committee that he had also interviewed Raja, which was carried by his newspaper.

He also referred to how certain government officials had advised Raja without clearance from the ministry they were attached with. He is also understood to have named the officials.

The members had a list of newsreports filed by the correspondent and asked him how he arrived at the conclusions.

A couple of senior journalists and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia are expected to appear before the committee in the near future.