A fractured Joint Parliamentary Committee examining 2G scam on Friday gave a clean chit to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and absolved them of any wrong-doing.
The committee chairman P C Chacko rejected opposition suggestions for further discussion on evidence gathered during the two-and-a-half year tenure of the JPC and put the draft report to vote. He said long deliberations on the report were not practical as it was circulated to members five months back and they had enough time to go through it and raise objections.
With help from outside supporters the SP, BSP and new found ally JD (U), the draft report was adopted “in toto” with 16-11 majority.
Eleven members of the opposition, including five from the BJP and one each of the BJD, TMC, CPI, CPI(M), AIADMK and DMK voted against the report. The report accused former telecom minister A Raja of “misleading” the Prime Minister and “belying” the assurances given to him.
Three members – Gopinath Munde (BJP), Sharad Yadav and Ramchandra Prasad Singh (both JD-U) – did not attend the meeting.
Chacko said he had allowed all members to make their points as different views were expressed during the meeting which lasted a little over an hour.
There were also suggestions that the report be adopted by consensus. “But it was not
possible and the only possible way was to have a vote,” he said.
The members have been given time till October 10 to submit dissent notes which would form part of the report. The report is expected to be presented to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar towards the end of October.
Yashwant Sinha (BJP) alleged that a contrived majority was used to adopt a report based on “wrong facts, falsehood and prejudicial” findings without the consideration of the committee.
DMK member T R Baalu said the committee had adopted a “half-baked report” as his request for examining Raja and other officials of the Department of Telecom was turned down.
CPI member Gurudas Dasgupta, in a letter to Chacko, said the role of the PMO and the PM was not identified. Sitaram Yechury (CPM) and M Thambidurai (AIADMK) have already given dissent notes