JPC chief feels PAC has gone beyond mandate in 2G

New Delhi: With Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament being on a spree of questioning people from various sections in 2G case, it has not gone down well with JPC Chairman P C Chacko who feels that PAC has gone beyond its mandate and wants a "conflict" to be avoided.

Chacko underlined that PAC`s mandate was limited to looking into accounting irregularities in 2G spectrum allocation as highlighted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and it should not give an impression of holding a "parallel inquiry" to what JPC is supposed to do.

"The very purpose of forming the JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) is to look into the broader question about 2G and telecom. It appears from media reports that PAC is performing a parallel inquiry to that of JPC," Chacko told PTI here.

"The PAC should confine to the accounting irregularities pointed out by the CAG," he said.

Chacko`s comments came as the PAC, headed by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, has been calling for deposition of journalists who wrote on 2G spectrum "scam" and editors of magazines which published the transcripts of telephonic conversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia with industrialists, journalists and politicians.

The PAC is also set to call for examination Radia as also senior journalists who are in the tapes.

"Conflict should be avoided as far as possible. We will discuss it in the JPC," said Chacko, a Congress leader and Lok Sabha member from Kerala`s Thrissur.

The 30-member JPC, which will have its first meeting on March 24, would be examining the work done by the PAC which has been examining the 2G issue for over a year.

The JPC will examine the telecom policy in place from 1998 to 2008, its implementation, pricing of spectrum and issuance of licences.

The aim is to ascertain if there were any problems in the system and its implementation and recommend actions accordingly.

In this connection, the committee intends to seek all relevant documents from the ministries concerned and communications between various departments.

The formation of the JPC last month brought down the curtains on a three-month deadlock in Parliament between the government and the Opposition, which latched on to a CAG report on alleged irregularities in 2G spectrum allocations and pegged the presumptive loss to the national exchequer at Rs 1.76 lakh crore.