JPC will lead to duplication in 2G probe, Govt tells MPs

Leader of the House and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee sought to drive home this point at a meeting of Independent MPs and single member parties convened by Speaker Meira Kumar as part of her efforts to break the impasse in Parliament.

"Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the CBI, Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) are already looking into the issue. What will JPC do? It will also ask for investigation which is already being done," Inder Singh Namdhari, Independent MP from Chatra, said.

Today's meeting, the third convened by the Speaker, was attended by nine members of Parliament.

The members pushed for a constitution of a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) in the 2G spectrum allocation scam while Mukherjee contended that it would only lead to duplication of effort.

"Constitution of JPC will lead to duplication," Namdhari said quoting Mukherjee. Jose K Mani of the Kerala Congress (M) also spoke on similar lines.

"We, however, said that if there is a face-off between the government and the opposition what is the harm in constituting a JPC which will to do the same thing," he said.

Namdhari said it was his personal opinion that a JPC should be constituted.The Speaker told reporters after the meeting that the members expresed their views "very categorically" and wanted the House to function.

"Their attitude was a very positive. I am very happy and believe that the House will run on February 21," Kumar said.

The Winter session of Parliament was a complete washout with very little business being transacted as each day witnessed noisy scenes with the Opposition insisting on a JPC probe while the Treasury benches raised issues of corruption in BJP-run states like Karnataka.

The Budget Session of Parliament is scheduled to begin on February 21 and continue till April 21.

Asked whether putting a Motion to vote or discussion was an option or a suggestion, the Speaker said, "putting it to vote I have not heard of, but debate I have heard of. There are various suggestions".

"Many suggestions have been received and keeping in mind all the suggestions we have to find a middle path so that the House runs," Kumar said adding she had received a suggestion on having a discussion on JPC.

The Speaker had met leaders of the BJP on December 30 and followed it up with meetings with leaders of other parties the next day.

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