P.C. Chacko, chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee probing the 2G spectrum allocation scam on Saturday said “it’s not inevitable” to call former Telecom Minister A. Raja, before the panel as a witness as all main witnesses had been called and evidence taken.
“It is not inevitable at this juncture to call Raja as all main witnesses have been called and evidence taken,” he said.
He was responding to a query on CPI leader and JPC member Gurudas Dasgupta’s letter to him stressing the need to call Mr. Raja as witness.
Mr. Chacko said Mr. Raja had written to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to allow him tender evidence as witness before the JPC.
Several other persons have also expressed a similar desire but it was impractical to call all of them, he said.
“A final decision, however, in this regard will be taken after discussing it with all JPC members,” Mr. Chacko told PTI.
On February 22, Mr. Raja had written to Ms. Kumar and Mr. Chacko expressing willingness to appear before JPC as witness. He claimed he has been “condemned unheard” in the 2G scam case and wanted to present his side of the story.
Mr. Chacko said the JPC had asked to prepare the draft report which would be ready by the first week of May. Thereafter a JPC meeting would be convened to finalise it and the report would have to be submitted before the end of the current Parliament session on May 22, he said.
On Mr. Dasgupta’s contention that Mr. Raja’s name was there in the list of witnesses prepared, Mr. Chacko said it was not correct as no final list of witnesses had been prepared.
All members had given a list of witnesses to be called before JPC and no final list was prepared by the JPC, Mr. Chacko said.
DMK members in the JPC T.R. Baalu and Tiruchi Siva have been pressing Mr. Chacko to call Mr. Raja as a witness.
However, Congress members in the JPC are against calling Mr. Raja as witness as his deposition could be used by the Opposition, including the BJP and the Left, to corner the government.