New Delhi: The issue of summoning Finance Minister P Chidambaram as a witness before the JPC probing the 2G scam is back in the Committee's court with the Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar declining to intervene at this stage.

Parliament sources said the Speaker has informed JPC Chairman PC Chacko that the Committee has to first take a decision on the issue before approaching her in the matter and therefore, it was "premature to intervene at this stage".

In his letter to Kumar, Chacko had referred to the demand of JPC members from the opposition parties that Chidambaram be summoned before the panel as a witness.

Chacko had cited the demand raised by opposition leaders Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Satish Chandra Mishra (BSP) and Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI) along with BJP members. He has already rejected BJP's demand to summon Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The letter stated that "although Rule 99(1) of parliamentary rules and procedures do not permit a committee to summon a minister", there were two precedents of the Speaker having allowed it in the past. So her opinion was being sought.

Chacko had also cited a rule under which the Speaker may issue such directions to a Chairman of a Committee from time to time as he or she considers necessary for regulating its procedure and organisation of its work.

The rule also stipulated that if any doubt arose on any point of procedure or otherwise, the Chairman may, if he thinks fit, refer the point to the Speaker whose decision shall be final.

"Only if the majority members of the Committee agree, then I can refer the matter, that is the rule," Chacko later told PTI noting that now he would put the issue before the next meeting of the JPC on October 18.


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