2G: Attorney General to be called as witness before JPC
Posted on: 02:53 AM IST Sep 24, 2012
New Delhi: Despite protests by a section of Congress members in JPC on 2G scam, panel chief PC Chacko has decided to go ahead with calling Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati as the next witness.
Soon after Chacko announced the decision to call Vahanvati, a section of Congress members is learnt to have protested calling the top law officer of the country as a witness.
They had claimed that a lawyer can't be asked to appear before a committee on the advice he has given to the government as it was against the principles of governance.
"A lawyer can't be asked to explain a decision he gives or does not give to his client," said a Congress member. When contacted, Chacko said he has to go by the general sense of the committee.
"Some members may have objections...We are calling the AG on October 3. On that day we will decide whether there is need to call more witnesses," he said.
This will be for the first time that the AG will appear before the JPC to give oral evidence. Vahanvati was called before Parliament's Public Accounts Committee in April 2011 when it was examining the CAG report on 2G spectrum allocation. But following acrimonious scenes between Congress and BJP members that day, he could not appear before the panel.
Recently, CBI, probing the multi-crore scam, had approached Vahanvati and had asked him about his legal opinion given to the Telecom Ministry as Solicitor General during UPA I when the spectrum process had begun.
The AG had maintained that CBI had approached him only for some clarifications.
He had said that DoT had earlier sent him a press release and had sought his opinion on it. He had sent back the release to DoT after making some notings on it.
But the notings on the release had been tinkered with and CBI had wanted to know about it from him, he had said.