A Joint Parliamentary Committee examining the 2G scam today deferred finalisation of the list of witnesses including politicians, an issue which had led to a verbal clash between UPA and NDA members at the last meeting.
JPC Chairperson P C Chacko, who was to place a list of tentative witnesses before the members today, preferred not to raise the issue, sources said. This was done to avoid getting into procedural delays and finishing examination of witnesses like Enforcement Directorate and CBI officials in the coming days, they said.
The issue of who all should be called as witnesses had rocked the JPC meeting on June 19 with NDA members demanding that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and PMO officials be called. They also wanted former Telecom Minister and prime accused A Raja be asked to depose before JPC.
Countering this, Congress members had demanded that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee be asked to present his views before JPC.
BJP members Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh, who are part of JPC, said they were ready to step down from the probe panel and depose before it as they were ministers in the NDA government.
JPC had then decided to draw up a list of the witnesses who could be called. The list has to be endorsed by the members before anyone could be summoned.
The next meeting, which was to be held on June 26, was postponed as the differences among the members continued.
Officials from ED deposed before the committee today to explain the progress made by them in the 2G spectrum scam probe.