New Delhi: The row over jurisdiction of Public Accounts Committee and Joint Parliamentary Committee regarding the probe of 2G scam on Friday reached its crescendo when the Congress members of PAC exchanged heated words over the rights of the panel to summon witnesses as the case is in the court.

CBI Director AP Singh and Attorney General GN Vahanvati who were summoned on Friday had to return without giving deposition before the committee. Even the meeting slated on Saturday to grill Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrasekhar and Prime Minister's Principal Secretary TKA Nair was called off.

As soon as the PAC meeting commenced, sharp differences between Congress and DMK on one hand and the Opposition led by BJP on the other were visible. The deadlock between the members was over the ongoing controversy between JPC and PAC probe.

Murli Manohar Joshi, chairman of PAC, showed Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar’s letter to the members, where she has authorized both the committees to continue the probe.

But the stalemate could not be dealt with and only Law Secretary DR Meena could be questioned by the panel. Panel’s next meeting will be convened on April 21.

According to sources, Congress members like KSS Rao, Naveen Jindal, Jitendra Singh and Aruna Kumar Vundavalli, joined by DMK's Tiruchi Siva, opposed Joshi calling witnesses. Later, the panel had to call for voting to resolve the matter.

The Congress and DMK members also took an exception to Murli Manohar Joshi not summoning former Telecom Minister A Raja to give him an opportunity to be heard and defend himself.

When the Congress-DMK members opposed the move, seven Opposition members voted in favour of calling in the summoned officials to submit their statements, sources said.

Soon after the four-hour-long PAC sitting ended, the Congress reacted strongly to the day's development, saying it had already warned of the overlap between the PAC and JPC probes and asked the chiefs of the two parliamentary panels to sort out the jurisdiction issues first.

JPN/Bureau