Former Telecom Minister A. Raja on Wednesday questioned in the Supreme Court the Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG) finding that the exchequer had suffered a loss of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore in the allocation of 2G spectrum, terming the figure as “mindboggling and speculative”.
“It’s a presumptive value of loss which gives a mindboggling figure of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore. The figure is totally speculative,” Mr. Raja’s counsel and senior advocate T. R. Andhyarujina submitted before a bench of justices G. S. Singhvi and A. K. Ganguly.
He said the CAG report is “a subjective opinion” which will not bear the judicial scrutiny to the extent that it says that the Department of Telecom failed in its duty to assess the realistic values of licences.
“I feel, subject to what you say, the matter requires serious consideration as the CAG may completely be wrong on it,” he submitted.
The senior advocate also added that the CAG report placed in the Parliament was under examination by its Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
“It (CAG) has found an opinion which is not at all justified,” he submitted.
At this point, the Bench said, “As the PAC scrutiny is on, what do you want this court to decide.”
Mr. Andhyarujina said the principle which has been applied by the CAG in its auditing is not accepted as standard method of evaluation. “It is the subjective opinion. The subjective opinion is not at all warranted,” he said, adding the CAG auditing pertains to the period between 2003 to 2008, while Mr. Raja entered the scene only on May 16, 2007.
The senior advocate further maintained that before Mr. Raja became minister his predecessors Dayanadhi Maran and Arun Shourie had already granted 52 licences.