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Updated: November 15, 2011 17:50 IST

Fearing cover up, Joshi asked CAG official to expedite 2G audit: Letter

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According to a CAG official, PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi called him up, at a time the government auditor was examining the 2G issue last year. File photo
The Hindu
According to a CAG official, PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi called him up, at a time the government auditor was examining the 2G issue last year. File photo

A fresh controversy broke out in 2G case on Tuesday with the surfacing of a letter which suggested that the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee chief Murli Manohar Joshi had called up a CAG official to press for expediting auditing work into spectrum allocation.

CAG official R.B. Sinha had written to Deputy CAG Rekha Gupta on July 13, 2010 about the call he had purportedly received from Joshi.

Mr. Joshi told him that “there was tremendous pressure on him from Parliamentarians, media etc. about the examination being done by the Public Accounts Committee in respect of recent development in Telecom sector, including allocation of 2G and 3G spectrum and that if the probe is further delayed, the Executive would get the time to cover up the issue,” the CAG’s DG (Report Central) wrote.

“He (Mr. Joshi) further stated that in view of the tremendous interest, heightened anxieties and pressure from all concerned including media, it would be appropriate for the PAC also to submit its report soon after the CAG’s report is submitted to the President during the Monsoon Session (of Parliament),” the official stated in the letter.

Mr. Joshi said that it would be appropriate that his (Mr. Sinha’s) office briefed him and the Committee in “two and three days after the next meeting of the PAC scheduled to be held on 15th/16th July, 2010”, Mr. Sinha told Ms. Gupta.

“I informed him that the matter will need to be taken up with the C&AG of India,” the official wrote.

When asked about the development, Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai rejected the talk of any attempt to influence the government auditor’s work.

“(There is) no question of Joshi trying to influence CAG report,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, in view of the revelation, Congress leader Digvijay Singh questioned whether estimates of the losses shown by the CAG in the 2G spectrum allocation were inflated “at the behest of Chairman PAC”.

“With new facts coming in, few questions arise. Was the figure inflated? Was it made in haste?? Was it at behest of Chairman PAC?,” Mr. Digvijay Singh said on Twitter.

“Is it a fact that the Chairman PAC contacted CAG regarding 2G before submission of CAG report? It was denied by the CAG but now documents prove he did,” he said.

The Congress leader also questioned whether the CAG had an agenda like former CAG T.N. Chaturvedi.

“Does CAG have an agenda? Does he want to follow the footsteps of T.N. Chaturvedi (e)X CAG, of Bofors Report, BJP MP and Governor,” Mr. Digvijay Singh asked.

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