None other than Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi has confirmed that its April, 2011 draft report on the 2G spectrum issue, whose leaked versions appear in the media, is authentic.

At a news conference at the BJP headquarters here on Friday, he said the Supreme Court's order cancelling 122 2G licences was a virtual “endorsement” of the draft report, and the complicity of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram in the award of the licences was beyond doubt.

The authentication of the draft report raises two contentious issues. First, there was a dispute within the PAC on whether the draft was approved or not. The meeting called to consider and approve it in April ended inconclusively, with UPA members on the committee raising objections to the report.

After Dr. Joshi adjourned the meeting, the UPA members held a separate meeting and said the report was rejected. Unfazed, Dr. Joshi submitted the report to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, who subsequently returned it to him. At present, the report is pending scrutiny by a re-constituted PAC, also headed by Dr. Joshi.

Second, a report of a Parliamentary Committee in any form has no validity unless it is tabled in the House. In this case, the report was not tabled, and its contents were leaked to a section of the media to boot. It is indeed ironical for the PAC Chairman to authenticate its contents and, that too, in the headquarters of his own party.

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