New Delhi: There is no privilege notice against HRD Minister Smriti Irani, Chairman of Rajya Sabha's Privileges Committee P J Kurien said on Thursday, dismissing reports that the panel decided to seek explanation from her over some remarks made during a House debate on the JNU row.
Addressing the media a day after the Committee members had met in Parliament House, he said it was "not a meeting" of the committee as it did not meet the quorum requirement of at least five committee attending it.
"We met but five members were not present. So it was not a committee meeting. Moreover there is no notice of privilege against Irani before the committee. So it is wrong to say that the panel has decided to seek an explanation from her over her remarks. There is no such decision," he said.
"Yesterday there was no meeting. There was some informal discussion. Whatever we informally said has been reported by the media as a decision of the committee. A member saying something is not a decision of the committee," Kurien said.
He said a notice of CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury regarding his having received threat calls after participating in a debate on JNU row is under consideration of the committee.
In his letter to the Rajya Sabha Chairman last month, the CPI-M leader had written that the minister had made "baseless allegations" against him "imputing motives that are completely false".
Yechury had also enclosed pages from internet (in Telugu) suggesting threats to him and stated that considering "grievous nature of the allegations". Since they are made on the floor of the House and recorded as part of proceedings, the
intervention of the Rajya Sabha Chairman was sought said.
He said that Yechury had given a privilege notice but that was about threat calls and not against Irani.
Regarding the deposition of VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi before the panel yesterday about her controversial statement on "terrorists in Parliament", Kurien said she appeared as a witness and it is not necessary to have a meeting of the committee to call a witness.
He, however, declined to go into what was the response of Prachi when she appeared before the committee.
After meeting the panel yesterday, Prachi had remained defiant and stuck to her remarks.