The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will take a decision on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s offer to appear before it in the 2G spectrum issue after consulting legal experts, its Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi said on Friday as he met Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar apparently to take her view on the issue.
A day after seeking to clear the doubts about his stand on JPC amid BJP’s unease, Mr. Joshi insisted that he was not fast—forwarding the probe by the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament in 2G issue.
“The PAC cannot call a minister. It can call officials, secretaries and individuals. But as I have made clear, the Prime Minister’s case is different as he has himself offered to appear. We will have to discuss the issue with the constitutional experts before taking a decision,” Mr. Joshi told PTI.
His comments came even as he met the Speaker apparently to discuss the issue.
According to rules and procedures governing the functioning of Parliamentary committees, no minister can appear before a Lok Sabha committee without prior sanction from the Speaker.
Asked about his statement expressing full commitment to demand for JPC “as a member of the BJP”, even while pursuing PAC inquiry as its Chairman, he maintained that there was no contradiction between the two, saying they were “parallel agencies” which could work simultaneously.
On report that he had been compelled by BJP President Nitin Gadkari to issue a statement on Thursday to clear doubts with regard to his stand on JPC, the BJP veteran said nobody had asked him to do so.
“(BJP President) Nitin Gadkari and I keep discussing issues on the phone or when we meet. There is nothing much to it. All these are wild speculations. I have always supported the demand for a JPC probe to deal with the larger issues of corruption,” Mr. Joshi said.