Opposition demands JPC probe into Adani allegations: What is a Joint Parliamentary Committee

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Opposition demands JPC probe into Adani allegations: What is a Joint Parliamentary Committee

Context- 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.

Before this, the Opposition had sought JPC probes 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.

What is a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC)?

A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) is set up by the Parliament for 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 opposition. It is dissolved after its term ends or its task has been completed.

How is a JPC set up?

A JPC is set up 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 of members can vary – there is no fixed number.

What can a JPC do?

  • According to an article on PRS Legislative Research, the mandate of a 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 recommendations,” the PRS article said.
  • To fulfill its mandate, a JPC can scrutinize documents and summon people for questioning. It then submits a report and makes recommendations to the government.

How powerful is a JPC?

  • While the recommendations of a JPC have persuasive value, they are not binding on the government. The government can choose to launch further investigations based on what the JPC has said, but it can’t be forced to do so.
  • “The government is required to report on the follow-up action taken on the basis of the recommendations of the JPC and other committees. The committees then submit ‘Action Taken Reports’ in Parliament on the basis of the government’s reply,” the PRS article says.

Conclusion- Joint Parliamentary Committee is set up for a specific purpose and has members from both the government and opposition to ensure trust in the process.

Source- Indian Express

Syllabus- GS-2; Parliamentary Committees

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