Thursday, March 3, 2011

JPC: Just another committee?

After plenty of arguments and counterarguments in and out of Parliament we finally got a JPC (Joint Parliament Committee) to investigate the spectrum scam. For many weeks if not months, creation of JPC was a matter of life and death for Indian political establishment!!! It was like creation of JPC means a full stop on corruption!!!

Will this new JPC become an effective one? Will they be able to uncover the facts related to the spectrum scam which are not in public domain? Will they be able to something more than what CBI and ED? Or will it simply ends up another political platform for bashing each other? 

The composition of JPC doesn’t offer much help. According to the strength in parliament ruling coalition will get 14 (INC 11, DMK 2, NCP 1) and opposition will get 13 (BJP 6, Left 2, AIADMK 1, BJD 1, SP 1, BSP 2) members. Opposition members include the members from SP and BSP; now the problem is to whom they will support? Will they be in favour of government policies or against it? As long as Women’s Reservation Bill and disproportionate asset cases are active, we can’t say anything about it; especially after the voting in the Civil Nuclear Bill.

Another important factor in the current JPC set up is the era it is going to investigate. Committee is expected to look at the telecom policies starting from 1998 onwards, that means it will cover BJP ruled years as well. If Janatha Dal had enough seat in opposition and protesting against the spectrum scam, then the investigation may go all the way back to 1996!!! Anyway the current era will put BJP in defensive mode.

If these points worked in favour of government (chances of not happening is almost null), then there is no doubt that the JPC report will be preserved in the safe lockers of Government forever; just like numerous other commission reports.

May be we are looking in to this issue through a pessimistic view point. May be these people will do a fantastic job and come up with an incredible report. Whatever they are going to do please make sure to clear one doubt from public’s mind – What is the exact amount involved in the telecom scam – is it 40,000 crore of 1.76 lack crore or in between?


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