The manner in which the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) initiated its probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam has now stoked the apprehensions that investigations would finally end up being a mere eyewash. The decisions of the JPC, chaired by Congress MP PC Chacko, to direct the officials of the Telecommunications Department to assess the loss incurred by the public exchequer due to the change in Telecom Policy during NDA regime and also decided to summon the then Attorney General Soli Sorabjee, to sneak peek into the designs of the committee. Doesn’t it appear the committee intends to establish the hypothesis that the foundation of the 2G scam was laid during the NDA regime? The Committee has all the right to find the cause why the NDA government changed the rules of spectrum allocation, however, such answers do not serve purpose. In fact such decisions are of futile nature. If the CAG had objected to the changes in the Spectrum allocation policy in 2000, then why did the UPA government follow the amended policy? Was the UPA government bound to follow the footsteps of the NDA regime? Was it not incumbent upon the UPA government to evaluate the telecom policy of its predecessors? What was the reason the UPA government could not stop A Raja from continuing with the telecom policy of the NDA government? If the JPC, in the guise of conducting probe, intends to restrict itself to research on the mistakes committed in the past, then it is advisable not to waste the precious time of the nation.

PC Chacko has appeared off-target right from the day one of his start as JPC chairman. At the very onset, he has taken a rigid stance that once JPC started probing into the 2G case, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) should stop its investigations. After meeting dead end on his demand, he launched a tirade to remove some of the BJP members from the JPC panel. After tasting failure in his endeavours, he is now busy digging old graves. The nature of functioning of the panel can be determined from the attitude of JPC Chairman. The tenure of the committee ends in August, but till now it is busy enlightening the members about the spectrum and the technology of telephony, making a mockery of the entire process. If the JPC probe into 2G case follows the footsteps of its predecessors, then it will not only erode the faith of people on such parliamentary committees but also cements the view about impossibility of investigation process in bigger scams of the country. The JPC is a competent body, but someone needs to remind it that its priority should be to probe the circumstances which helped Raja in swindling the nation. It can be possible only if the JPC rids of party politics.