Never tried to influence CAG: Joshi

Last Updated: Wed, Nov 16, 2011 12:00 hrs

New Delhi, Nov 16 (IANS) The chairman of parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Murli Manohar Joshi Wednesday rejected as 'bogus and malafide' the allegations that he had sought to influence the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in the report on the 2G spectrum scam.

Talking to reporters a day after a letter said Joshi had called an official from CAG, leading to allegations from Congress leaders that he tried to influence the report, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said the charge was baseless.

'This is all bogus, totally false and baseless. It is an attempt to malafide (sic) the PAC and CAG,' Joshi told reporters here.

In an internal note dated July 13, 2010, R.B. Sinha, director general, report central (RC) in the CAG office, wrote that he got a call from Joshi.

The note, which was reported about Tuesday, was addressed to Deputy CAG Rekha Gupta and stated that Joshi cited 'tremendous pressure on him from parliamentarians, media about the examination being done by the PAC in respect of 'the recent developments in the telecom sector including allocation of 2G and 3G spectrum''.

After the letter came to light, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh Tuesday questioned if there were links between CAG Vinod Rai and Joshi and if the report on 2G was influenced by Joshi.

'The CAG had said that its report will come in six months. When it did not come, the parliamentarians and the media asked why it was delayed. We only wanted to know when the report will come. Since he (Sinha) was the nodal officer, I asked him,' Joshi said.

He, however, refused to comment on Digvijay Singh's remarks.

He said he never tried to influence the CAG, and all his queries were limited to when the report will be submitted.

'I did not say come to my home and calculate the loss, we never said what loss figures should be. We never interact with CAG on this, we only ask where the report is,' Joshi said accusing the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of trying to destroy the institution.

'The attempt (is) to malign CAG, I protest strongly. They are trying to destroy these institutions,' he added.

Earlier, speaking at a function to celebrate 150 years of CAG, Joshi had said it was 'unfortunate' that questions were being raised about its credibility for stating that the allocation of 2G spectrum had caused a presumptive loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore.

'It is unfortunate... quite recently some of CAG's critical observations in its reports tabled in the house, a section of the press and even some parliamentarians tried to veto down its credibility,' Joshi said.

Joshi's comments come after a key auditor, R.P. Singh, alleged that the figure of Rs.1.76 lakh crore loss given by CAG was only a mathematical guess.

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