NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar was still examining the admissibility of the notice of “breach of privilege” given by 50 BJP members of the Lok Sabha against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for issuing a press statement rejecting the Opposition's demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) into the controversies relating to the Indian Premier League (IPL) and telephone tapping issues.
Sources said Ms. Kumar was yet to determine whether there was prima facie a “breach of privilege” involved or not. If she felt that there was no case made out she could reject the notice at threshold. If she felt that Dr. Singh indeed breached the privilege of the House she could directly forward it to the Rajya Sabha Chairman or through the Lok Sabha (with the nod of members) since the Prime Minister was the representative of the Upper House. The decision taken by the Rajya Sabha Chairman was final, sources added.
Sources replied in the affirmative when asked whether a decision could be taken by the Speaker even when the House was not in session.
BJP deputy leader Gopinath Munde and senior leader Yashwant Sinha were among the signatories of the notice issued against Dr. Singh which was presented to Lok Sabha Secretary-General P.D.T. Achary on April 27.
Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj had charged that Dr. Singh had committed a breach of privilege by making such a statement outside the House when the Opposition sought the government's reply on the demand in Parliament.
Dr. Singh, reacting to the Opposition's demand for a JPC on the phone tapping issue told journalists on April 26: “This is not a fit case for a JPC.”