Charging the Opposition with disregard for parliamentary procedures and norms,P C Chacko Tuesday said there was no rule under which the Speaker could remove him as the Chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee.
Responding to the Oppositions demand for his removal,Chacko told The Indian Express: There is no rule under which I can be removed by the Speaker. There is,in fact,no precedent of the presiding officer removing the chairman of a parliamentary committee.
He said Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj had requested the Speaker to remove Jaswant Singh as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee after his expulsion from the BJP following the Jinnah-book row,but the Speaker refused. Jaswant ceased being the chairman when he resigned. Similarly,the only way I can get out of this position is by putting in my papers, Chacko said.
Slamming non-Congress members of the JPC who had complained against him to the Speaker,he said,I am surprised at their rejection of the draft report without having discussed it. It is not my report. It has been prepared by the secretariat and members are free to move amendments. By seeking my ouster,they are only trying to create a situation in which the JPC lapses.
On whether it was possible for the JPC to call former Telecom minister A Raja to record his evidence,as demanded by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav,Chacko said,Raja cannot be called. He is an accused,and I am sure my friends in the panel who are lawyers would understand that the evidence of an accused is of no value.