Monday, July 11, 2011

JPC's task long and arduous, says Chacko


Former attorney general Soli Sorabji could be one of the witnesses


New Delhi: The Joint Parliamentary Commitee (JPC), which has been set up to look into the 2G spectrum allocation issue, has a long list of witnesses to interrrgate, and every one of the 30 members are not letting go their privilege to do so.

Former chairman of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman M.S.Verma was questioned through the day. JPC chairman briefing the media on Friday evening said that the proceedings of the JPC would be long-drawn because it wants to do a thorough job and not submit a half-baked report.

The next meeting of JPC will be on July 19 and 20, and he said that during the monsooon session of parliament, the commitee will try to hold sitttings every day to speed up the work.

Verma told JPC that 'spectrum audit' is a must to find out whether spectrum, which is scarce, is being used efficiently or no and that this should be done by TRAI. He said that TRAI had no power to criticise the policy decision of the government, and its recommendations are not binding on the government. He also expressed the view that spectrum should not be seen just as a revenu-generating source.

Asked by members whether the issue of additional allocation of spectrum was referred to TRAI, Verma said it was not

Chacko had said that the committee will be questioning all the bureaucrats, including all the former secretaries of telecom from 1999 onwards, as also the heads of TRAI. He hinted that former attorney general Soli Sorabji could possibly be called in as he had offered legal advice during the NDA period from 1999 to 2004.

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