LS approves JPC in 2G spectrum scam

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 24 (PTI) The Lok Sabha today approved thesetting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the 2Gspectrum scam but not before the Congress and the BJP crossedswords over the washout of the entire Winter session and overthe alleged irregularities in mobile licensing.

The motion providing for appointment of 30 members -- 20from the Lok Sabha and 10 from the Rajya Sabha -- was approvedby a voice vote after a four-hour debate that was marked byscenes of acrimony when Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swarajattacked the government and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibalresponded in equal measure.

The motion will now go to the Rajya Sabha for concurrenceand choosing 10 of its members to be part of the Committee.

The Committee will look into the telecom policy pursuedfrom 1998 to 2009 including the allocation and pricing oftelecom licences and spectrum and examine "irregularities andaberrations, if any" and the consequences of theirimplementation.

The Committee has been given time till the end ofthe Monsoon session of Parliament to give its report.

The 20 members on the Committee from the Lok Sabha areV Kishore Chandra Deo, Paban Singh Ghatowar, Jai PrakashAgarwal, Deepender Singh Hooda, P C Chacko, Manish Tewari,Nirmal Khatri, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (all Cong), T R Baalu(DMK), Kalyan Banerjee (TMC), Jaswant Singh, Yashwant Sinha,Harin Pathak, Gopinath Munde (all BJP), Sharad Yadav (JDU),Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP), Akhilesh Yadav (SP), GurudasDasgupta (CPI), Arjun Charan Sethi (BJD) and M Thambidurai(AIADMK).

Moving the motion, Finance Minister and Leader of theHouse Pranab Mukherjee said that lessons needed to be drawn byall concerned from the deadlock, suggesting that it wasdangerous for democracy that Parliament cannot functiontill you concede to a particular demand.

"Parliament cannot be mortgaged to the conceding of ademand," he said warning if "hatred and disrespect forparliamentary institutions was generated, it would lead to therise of extra-constitutional authorities" as had happened in aneighbouring country way back in 1958 when Martial Law wasimposed.

At the outset, Mukherjee admitted his responsibility asLeader of the House for failing to carry the opposition withhim on the issue.

He, however, said the NDA refused a JPC on Tehelka exposeand the then Minister Arun Jaitley had said that a group ofMPs sitting in a JPC cannot substitute discussion and debateon the floor of the House.

Swaraj, who was the first to speak from the Opposition,was critical of Mukherjee for dubbing opposition as "Maoists".

Mukherjee said the Left radicals dub Parliament as an"abode of pigs" and therefore wanted all concerned to actresponsibly.

"Was our demand (for JPC) violent or unconstitutional,"Swaraj sought to know from Mukherjee, referring to him at thesame time as a very nice person who fails to distinguishbetween proper and improper when he gets angry. .

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