New Delhi: BJP leader and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi is in under fire for his alleged role in 'influencing' the CAG report on 2G.
2.35 pm: With a former CAG official making fresh allegations about 2G allocation losses, Law Minister Ashwani Kumar on Friday questioned the integrity of the government auditor and demanded that truth behind the CAG's presumptive loss estimate of Rs1.76 lakh crore be made public.
"Certainly some of the findings of the CAG have now become very doubtful. People are entitled to know what is the truth that has now come out," Kumar told reporters outside Parliament House.
1.14 pm: Congress President Sonia Gandhi attacked Bharatiya Janata Party on Joshi row. 'BJP stands exposed after RP Singh's claims," said Gandhi.
In a startling revelation about the 2G report, CAG's former director general (audits) R P Singh has reportedly said Joshi 'influenced' the outcome of the report before it was tabled in Parliament.
According to media reports, Singh said that the CAG officials visited Joshi's house on a holiday on April 22 last year. Singh was quoted as saying that he got to know that a few of the senion CAG officals from headquarters had assisted him in preparing the PAC report on 2G spectrum allocation. Notably, Joshi had become PAC chairman in 2010.
In a report published in an English daily, Singh claimed that Joshi might have 'influenced' the report as 'it appears' from a note prepared by R B Sinha, D-G at CAG headquarters, that there were 'some telephone calls by the PAC chairman to access the 2G report which was under preparation'.
Joshi, however, rubbished the claims saying it is just to malign the CAG. Meanwhile, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said Joshi needs to make a comprehensive statement in Parliament about this issue. It is being speculated that Congress members are likely to demand Joshi's resignation from Chairmanship of PAC.
The man behind the CAG's 2G spectrum audit claimed that he had disowned the report saying it was not his as he was asked to sign off. He alleged that he was reportedly 'ordered' to sign off on the controversial report by his senior colleagues despite the fact that he had reservations about the report's findings.
"This was not my report. It was CAG’s (the institution’s) report. What can I do as a subordinate when the CAG (Vinod Rai) has issued written instructions on how he wants the report? I sent a report which calculated a loss of Rs 2,645 crore. This was on May 31, 2010. After this my audit team was attached with CAG headquarters under Deputy CAG Rekha Gupta. I was not involved in the inclusion of auditing the Ministry of Finance. In July 2010, I was sent a heavily revised report, and asked to issue (it) to the Ministry of Finance and Department of Telecommunication. There was little I could do when I got a written instruction," Singh said in an interview.
Singh was also quoted as saying that he had communicated his disapproval of the audit report to CAG Vinod Rai through official channels.
Reports said that Singh stated that the loss figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore was presumptive which he deleted. But the CAG office revised the report and loss was later restored in the final copy.
In an interview to a TV news channel, Singh revealed: "This loss figure (of Rs 1.76 lakh crore) did appear before me in a draft audit report submitted by my field office. I carried out discussion with them. I asked for the supporting documents, on what basis they are saying these are the losses. They said, 'we are taking it as presumption'. I said in performance audit there is nothing called presumption loss. So I deleted this figure and while forwarding my version of report, I clearly mentioned why I am deleting these figures. It seems that at the time of examination in CAG office, these loss figures were restored."
He further claimed that he had expressed reservations on the three parameters that were used to calculate the presumptive loss figure of 1.76 lakh crore. The CAG report, tabled in Parliament, put the presumptive loss from spectrum allocation between Rs 57,666 crore and Rs 1.76 lakh crore.
The main Opposition BJP had stalled the Parliament over CAG report forcing the government to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) in February 2011.