DMK seeks special discussion on 2G issue in Lok Sabha
While the government is yet to break the logjam over the FDI in retail issue which is stalling Parliament, its second largest constituent, the DMK, has given a notice for an unprecedented special discussion in the Lok Sabha on the 2G spectrum allocations.
DMK Parliamentary party leader T R Baalu served the notice in the wake of recent allegations by former CAG official R P Singh that senior BJP leader and chairman of Public Accounts Committee Murli Manohar Joshi has influenced the auditor’s 2010 report that claimed presumptive loss of Rs 1,76,000 crore to the exchequer.
On one hand the notice raises serious constitutional questions since Parliament conventions restrict discussions against statutory bodies like the Comptroller and Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee. This will pose difficulties to the government, given that the matter is sub-judice and different investigative agencies like the CVC and the CBI have been pouring over the details.
Also, the famous Supreme Court judgement has deemed the spectrum allocation unconstitutional. Sources said the PAC has the rights to seek action against RP Singh for breach of privileges as the CAG official has ascribed motives to the Parliament’s corruption watchdog.
In 1959, the then defence minister had to tender an apology and withdraw his comments against the PC, after MPs, including Acharya Kriplani, had moved a privilege motion against him for showing disrespect to a parliamentary body.
Similarly, CAG can be removed only through impeachment, as he enjoys the status of a Supreme Court judge as enshrined in Constitution.
Taking note of Singh’s claim, Baalu, in his notice, said it has put the issue in a new light that calls for a “thorough discussion” on the audit practices and constitutional mandate of the CAG.