An internal note of the CAG office wanted the audit to be expedited

An internal note of the Comptroller and Auditor-General's office suggests that Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi tried to pressure CAG into completing its audit of 2G spectrum allocation quickly to enable the PAC to begin looking at it.

In a note dated July 13, 2010 — well before the CAG's report on the 2G matter was tabled in Parliament — R.B. Sinha, then Director General (RC) wrote to Deputy CAG Rekha Gupta to say he had received a call on his “mobile” from Mr. Joshi at 11.30 that morning. He had told him since his office was working on recent developments in the telecom sector, he would like to be briefed by the CAG's office on the status of its audit on spectrum allocation. It was Mr. Joshi's personal secretary who had called and then Mr. Joshi came on the line, he wrote.

Pressure on Joshi

Mr. Sinha records Mr. Joshi told him “there was tremendous pressure on him [Joshi] from parliamentarians, media etc. about the examination being done by the Public Accounts Committee in respect of recent developments in Telecom sector, including allocation of 2G and 3G spectrum and that if the probe is further delayed, the Executive would get time to cover up the issue …”

Mr. Sinha's note added Mr. Joshi wanted the CAG office to brief him on the status of its own audit work before the scheduled PAC meeting of July 15/16, 2010. “I told him this matter would have to be taken up by the C & AG of India,” Mr. Sinha concluded.

While Mr. Joshi refused to take calls fromThe Hinduand his private secretary P. K. Jain said: “Doctor sahib [Joshi] will react to this tomorrow [Wednesday],” the Congress jumped to suggest the PAC Chairman had tried to influence the CAG's office.

Digvijay's tweet

“Was the figure [of presumptive loss in allotment of 2G spectrum] inflated? Was it made in haste? Was this at the behest of Chairman of PAC?” Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh tweeted.

He suggested it was totally inappropriate for Mr. Joshi to have contacted the CAG before his report was tabled in Parliament and wondered if the CAG had an agenda, after all, a former CAG T.N. Chaturvedi had gone over to the Bharatiya Janata Party after submitting his report on Bofors.

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