While BJP has been demanding calling Prime Minister Singh and Chidambaram before JPC, Left party members in the panel also made a strong pitch to call the Finance Minister
New Delhi: PC Chacko, chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Thursday decided to refer to the Lok Sabha Speaker the demand to summon Finance Minister P Chidambaram as a witness before the panel on 2G but virtually ruled out calling the Prime Minister even as BJP continued its boycott, reports PTI.
"According to past precedents and rules, members of a committee pass a unanimous resolution to call a minister. The request is then sent to the Speaker for a final ruling as rules do not permit calling a minister before a committee for either giving evidence or consultations.
But in this case, since there is no unanimity on calling the Finance Minister, I have decided to refer the matter to the Speaker which is allowed under rules...I will refer the matter of calling of a minister. There is no precedence to call the Prime Minister," Chacko said after today's meeting.
The decision was taken even as the six BJP members in the JPC, who had been boycotting the meetings accusing Chacko of not taking a decision on their demand to call Singh and Chidambaram, today stayed away from the proceedings.
While BJP has been demanding calling Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram before JPC, Left members in the panel - Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) and Sitaram Yechury (CPM) - today made a strong pitch to call the Finance Minister.
In a strongly worded letter to Chacko today on behalf of his party colleagues, Yashwant Sinha of BJP said, "...we have strongly demanded that in order to arrive at the right conclusions, the Committee must record the evidence of the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister. Their appearance before the Committee, in view of their role in the decision making process is absolutely necessary."
Responding to the letter, Chacko said except for BJP, no one else has demanded calling the prime minister as witness.
"Even the CPI and CPM said they do not want to call the PM, but only the Finance Minister...BJP knows it is not in the rules to call PM...it is a political decision," he said.
The government pleaded that the apex court should have a relook at its order on appointment of CICs as it is against the provisions of the transparency law
New Delhi: The Centre on Thursday moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of its verdict which held that only sitting or retired Chief Justices of High Courts or a Supreme Court judge can head the Central and State Information Commissions, reports PTI.
The government pleaded that the apex court should have a relook at its 12th September order as it is against the provisions of the transparency law.
The apex court had in its judgement said that like other quasi judicial bodies, people from judicial background be also appointed as members of the Central and State Commissions which is to be done after consulting with the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and Chief Justice of the respective High Courts.
It had directed the government to amend RTI Act for it.
"Chief Information Commissioner at the Centre or State level shall only be a person who is or has been a Chief Justice of the High Court or a judge of the Supreme Court of India," a bench of justices AK Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar had said.
The bench had passed the order on a PIL challenging section 12 and 15 of the Right to Information Act, 2005 enumerating the qualifications needed for the appointment of members to the commissions.
The bench, however, had refused to quash the sections but asked the government to modify it so that people from judicial background are also preferred for the post.
Currently, none of the eight members of the Central Information Commission (CIC), including the Chief Information Commissioner, is from judicial background.
The CIC comprises one Chief Information Commissioner and 10 Information Commissioners.
The indices closed above yesterday’s high today. The downtrend has been arrested for now but a strong uptrend looks doubtful