The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Friday rejected its chairman KV Thomas’ comments that the prime minister will be summoned before it while it examines the issue of demonetisation. Referring to the rules of the committee, the panel in a statement said a minister or the prime minister cannot be called before it without any evidence or consultation in connection with the examination of estimates or accounts, PTI reported.

“However, Chairperson, when considered necessary but after its deliberations are concluded, may have an informal interaction with the Minister,” PAC said. The statement added that only officials can be called to give evidence in connection with examination of estimates and accounts relating to particular ministries.

On January 9, chairperson of the Parliamentary panel KV Thomas had said the panel had the right to summon anyone including Prime Minister Narendra Modi if it was not satisfied with Reserve Bank Governor Urjit Patel’s answers to queries on demonetisation. Several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders including Nishikant Dubey, Kirit Somaiya and Bhupender Yadav had said the committee does not have the authority to summon the Prime Minister. Dubey had also written to the Lok Sabha speaker and said Thomas’ comments were “wrong, unethical and against laid out Parliamentary procedures”, PTI reported.

The PAC had asked Patel to explain how and by whom the decision on the currency ban was made, and its impact on the economy. Thomas had also claimed Modi was misleading the country in a bid to justify his wrong decisions. The PAC chairperson had said that the decision to summon top officials was made when normalcy failed to return across the country.