Opposition demands JPC probe into Adani allegations : Joint parliamentary committee

The opposition on Thursday ( February 2 ) joined hands to demand a probe either by a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) , headed by the supreme court or monitored by the chief justice of India , into the allegations of fraud and stock manipulation against the Adani group.

A meeting call by the Congress ahead of the day’s proceedings in the parliament sae participation by 13 other parties , those that have been known to stay away from Congress – led intiatives , such as the Trinamool Congress (TMC) , the Aam admi party (AAP) and the Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS). 

Before this, the oppostion had sought JPC probe into the Rafale deal and demonetisation , but the demand was not granted. In fact , ever since the BJP came to power in 2014 , no JPC has been set up. A joint parliamentary committee (JPC) is set up by the parliament fir a special purpose, like for the detailed scrutiny of a subject or Bill. It has members from both the houses and from both the ruling parties and the oppostion. It is dissolved after its term ends or its task has been completed. 

How is JPC setup

A JPC is setup after one house of parliament has passed a motion and the other has agreed to it. Members of the JPC are decided by the parliament. The number can vary – there is no fixed number. 

What can JPC do

The mandate of the JPC depends on the motion constituting it. For example, “The terms of reference for the JPC on the stock market scam asked the committee to look into financial irregularities, to fix responsibility on persons and institutions for the scam , to identify regulatory loopholes and also to make suitable recommendation.” To fill this mandate , a JPC can scrutinise documents and summon people for questioning . It then submits a report and makes recommendations to the government.

How powerful JPC is

While the recommendation of a JPC have persuasive value, they are not binding on the government. The government can choose to launch further investigation based on what the JPC has said, but it can’t be forced to do so.”The government to report on the follow up action taken on the basis of the recommendations of the JPC and other committees. The committees than summit ‘Action taken reports’ in parliament in the basis of the government’s replies”

JPC till now

According to the lok sabha website, there have been six JPC’s set up so far. These are ‘JPC to examine matters relating to Allocation and pricing of Telecom licences and spectrum ; JPC on Pesticide Residues in and safety standards for soft drinks, fruit juice and other Beverages; JPC on stock Market scam and Matters relating thereto; JPC to enquire into irregularities in securities and Banking transactions; JPC to enquire into Bofors Contract; Joint committee to examine the constitutional and legal position relating to office of profit.” 

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