JPC Report accuses ex-telecom minister A Raja of misleading Manmohan Singh

With the support of outside allies BSP and SP and absence of JD(U) members, Government on Friday managed to have its way in the JPC on 2G scam when the panel approved the draft report giving clean chit to prime minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister P Chidambaram with a 16-11 vote in its favour. The committee’s term was supposed to end on the last day of the winter session of parliament this year.

Eleven opposition members, including BJP’s 5 and one each of BJD, TMC, CPI, CPI(M), AIADMK and DMK voted against the Joint Parliamentary Committee report that accused former telecom minister A Raja of “misleading” the PM and “belying” the assurances given to him. 

The report, which was circulated among members in April also accuses Raja of forging the press note of January 7, 2008 after it was seen by the then Solicitor General G E Vahanvati. The report was critical of the decision taken by the then NDA government to grant concessions to telecom operators over non-recovery of “huge amount” of licence fee despite opposition by then telecom minister Jagmohan. 

JPC chairman PC Chacko said he had requested the members to adopt the report unanimously and to give their dissent notes which will be made part of the bound report. 

“In a divided polity, this is the maximum I could do.” He said that the members did not agree and he had to put the question to vote.

Deputy leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad told dnathat he will be putting in a “strong dissent note”. He called the adoption of report as a “black day in the annals of parliamentary democracy” and escribed it as a “bail out report”.

DMK’s TR Baalu told dna that he had written repeatedly to Chacko to circulate the documents related to the 2G cases in the Delhi High Court proceedings as well as those in the Supreme Court, but he did not respond. Baalu said on his part he gave copies of the affidavits that the Department of Telecoomunication has filed in the courts, where the officers involved in the decision-making were defended as having done the right.  Baalu argued that if the department’s officers had done the right thing, then former telcom minister A Raja cannot be included in the list of the accused.

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