‘Matter is under consideration of Parliamentary Committee'

On a day when the Public Accounts Committee Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi described Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal's comments on the Comptroller and Auditor-General (CAG) report on the 2G spectrum allocation as improper and inappropriate, the government auditor has also said that public statements on its report were “highly improper” as the matter was under the consideration of a Parliamentary Committee.

Without naming Mr. Sibal and others, the CAG, in a statement said: “Making public comments on the matter which is being considered by a Parliamentary Committee is highly improper and may even amount to contempt of the House”.

As per rules of the parliamentary procedure, the CAG said: “When any matter is under consideration of a Parliamentary Committee and the Committee is holding its sittings for that purpose, no person, including a Member of Parliament should make or publish a statement or comment about that matter.”

Also, as per the rules, the statement said, the CAG did not respond to the public statements or media reports as the report was under the consideration of the PAC. “It is in obedience to this Rule (para 1.12 of the Rules of Parliamentary Procedure) that the CAG, which is an important adjunct of the PAC and attends all its meetings, did not make any comment on media reports on comments made by others on the report of the 2G Spectrum allocation, as it was under discussion of the PAC,” it said.

Commenting on the criticism for having held a media briefing on the 2G report, the CAG pointed out that the practice of holding press conferences after the submission of reports had been followed since the 1980s. “In this case, the press conference for briefing the media on the audit report on the issue of licences and allocation of 2G spectrum was held by Rekha Gupta, Dy. CAG in the office after 3 PM on November 16, 2010, itself, after the report was placed in the Parliament,” it said.