Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has returned the Public Account Committee's report on the 2G spectrum allocation issue back to its chairman Murli Manohar Joshi, indicating that it cannot be tabled in Parliament as it has not been adopted by the committee members.

The voluminous report — which became a political hot potato after 11 of the PAC's 21 members rejected it and which Dr. Joshi nevertheless submitted to the Speaker — had been lying with Ms. Kumar since April 30. So far, she has not said a word; even on Tuesday, there was no word from her office except that she was travelling.

Dr. Joshi was in Dehra Dun on Tuesday morning and came back to the capital by evening. However, despite repeated telephone calls, there was no word from him either.

Sources in the Bharatiya Janata Party confirmed that Dr. Joshi had indeed received a communication from the Speaker.

Immediately after submitting the report to the Speaker's office on the last day of the term of the PAC (the newly constituted PAC took office on May 1), Dr. Joshi told journalists that he expected the Speaker to allow the report to be tabled in Parliament, though other members belonging to the United Progressive Alliance said the report had no sanctity or validity as it was rejected by the majority of the PAC members.

While Dr. Joshi complained to the Speaker that at the last meeting of the PAC on April 28 when the report was to be adopted, some members created obstacles and raised objections. He alleged that after he adjourned the meeting, a member “usurped his chair” and wrongly rejected the report. But the other side — 11 of them — told Ms. Kumar in separate letters that the chairman tried to forcibly get the report adopted without a proper paragraph-by-paragraph discussion. They pointed to what they called factual errors in the report. They said she should not accept it as it had not been approved by the committee.

They also said that on earlier occasions, the chairman took decisions through vote, but on April 28, finding himself outnumbered, he rejected their demand for a vote. Dr. Joshi then said changes could have been made and amendments carried to arrive at consensus had a proper discussion been allowed. However, since the dissenters alleged that the report was not produced by the Lok Sabha Secretariat at all but “outsourced,” he was duty-bound to get that allegation examined before continuing the discussion. He then adjourned the meeting, and someone “usurped” his chair.

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