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Govt Rejects BJP Charge

PTI 10 Dec 2010, 20:52:58 IST
New Delhi, Dec 10: Government today rubbished the BJP charge that Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal had committed a breach of Parliamentary privilege by announcing a probe into the 2G spectrum allocation, says it was purely an "executive decision".

Dismissing the charge as "totally misplaced and untenable," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters that "it was an administrative decision of a particular minister, who is entitled to take it. It is not a policy decision and it is only an executive decision".

"It (decision) does not have to be ratified and go to the Union Cabinet", he said adding that Sibal was not required to first make the announcement about the one-man committee on the floor of the House.

Sibal had yesterday announced appointment of a one-man committee of retired Supreme Court Justice Shivaraj V Patil to probe the alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum since 2001, a period involving the NDA regime.

Seeking to corner the government, BJP today said it was "seriously" examining the possibility of bringing a privilege motion against Sibal for announcing a probe at a time when Parliament is in session.

"Our Lok Sabha colleagues are seriously examining the possibility (to move a privilege motion against Sibal)...the motion can be brought in the House of which the minister is a member," Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.

Asked whether he foresaw the uproar over JPC demand continuing in the Budget session, Bansal said it would be "most unfortunate" if that happened and added that the CBI would be completing the probe by February and Sibal has given four weeks time for the one-man committee to complete the task.

"The JPC demand is a dead issue and the opposition are fighting a political battle which we cannot oblige," Bansal added. PTI