Mehta, Joseph appear before PAC

Mehta, Joseph appear before PAC

JD(U) MP Singh recuses himself from proceedings

The PAC recorded evidence of Vinod Mehta and Manu Joseph, editors of  “Outlook” and “Open” magazines respectively which carried transcripts of the phone conversations of corporate lobbyist Nira Radia had with others.

PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi announced here on Monday that the Rajya Sabha member has written to the panel that he would not be sitting on the PAC whenever it holds inquiry into the scam. “Singh has voluntarily done this and we have accepted his position,” Joshi said.

 Singh’s telephone conversations with Radia were widely covered by the media as the tapped tapes were leaked, first by the two magazines. Radia was in close touch with then telecom minister A Raja, now in jail for his alleged involvement in the scam, Ratan Tata, journalists and a host of others who were involved in the issue.

Observing that no decision has been taken on summoning Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before the PAC, Joshi said there was no deadline for the PAC to give its report.
Appreciating the efforts of the media in breaking the scam, Joshi said the two editors informed the committee that they published the tapes entirely in public interest and after recognising the voices in the tapes.

“The editors said there were many more tapes not connected to 2G and they have published only those related to the issue. According to them, the tapes were carried so as to ensure that the people knew what was happening in the country, that they were not targeted at anyone”.

They said none of the corporate players named in the tapes had contested the contents that were published in the magazines. Mehta and Joseph appeared separately for recording their evidence. Later, both the Editors refused to make any comments to the media  saying they were bound by law not to disclose the proceedings.

The PAC chairman said corporate entities like Uninor, Reliance and Tata had submitted their objections to the findings of the CAG on the 2G issue.“These objections had been referred to the Department of Telecom, CAG and SEBI for clarifications,” Joshi said.