Speaker rules out any discussion at the presentation stage

The report of the 30-member Joint Parliamentary Committee, headed by P.C. Chacko, that went into allocation and pricing of telecom licences and spectrum, was tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday amid protests by the BJP, the Trinamool Congress and the Left parties as Speaker Meira Kumar refused to allow any objection or discussion at the presentation stage.

DMK members led by T.R. Baalu, who too have been demanding discussion on the issue, came to the well and shouted slogans before walking out in protest against the Speaker’s decision.

Ruling out any discussion at the presentation stage, Ms. Kumar referred to the request already received from Yashwant Sinha (BJP), Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) and Kalyan Banerjee (TMC). She said: “There is no provision in the rules which permits discussion or raising of objections before presentation of a report which has been duly adopted by a JPC.”

The Opposition members wanted to record their objections regarding the alleged violation of some rules during the deliberations in the JPC.

Later, Mr. Chacko presented the JPC report to the House.

The report, which was made public on September 29, when it was given to the Speaker by Mr. Chacko, contains as many as seven dissent notes given by members of the BJP, the CPI(M), the CPI, the DMK, the AIADMK, the Trinamool Congress and the BJD.

It exonerated Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram of any wrongdoing. It said Dr. Singh was misled by the then Communications Minister, A. Raja, about the procedure to be followed by the Department of Telecom regarding issuance of UAS licences.

Meanwhile, Mr. Sinha and Mr. Dasgupta told journalists outside the House that a “fraud” and “fabricated” document was tabled in the Lok Sabha in violation of rules which had set a “bad precedent.”

Mr. Gupta said: “This is a perverse report and fraud report and cannot be considered to be a JPC report.”

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