Fresh row hits 2G allocation case

Fresh row hits 2G allocation case

Auditors letter detailing parliamentary panel chief Joshis direction surfaces

The CAG official R B Sinha had written to Deputy CAG Rekha Gupta on July 13 last year about the call he had reportedly received from Joshi before the finalisation of the CAG report. The letter is likely to create a political storm with senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh raising the question whether estimates of the losses shown by the CAG in 2G spectrum allocation were inflated at the behest of the BJP.

The new twist comes on a day India’s top government auditor Vinod Rai deposed before the Joint Parliament Committee (JPC), a day after his former colleague contradicted the controversial 2G audit report saying the presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore in the radiowave allocation was only a “mathematical guess”. According to the letter written by the CAG official, Joshi told him that “there was tremendous pressure” on him “from Parliamentarians, media etc about the examination being done by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) 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”. 

Sinha, who was CAG’s DG (Report Central), was part of the team which audited the spectrum allocation issue.

“He (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.

Joshi said that it would be appropriate that his (Sinha’s) office briefed him and the Committee in “two or three days after the next meeting of the PAC scheduled to be held on 15th/16th July, 2010. I informed him that the matter needed to be taken up with the C&AG of India,”Sinha wrote.

Following this revelation, Congress leader Digvijay Singh questioned whether estimates of the losses shown by top auditor 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?,” Digvijay Singh tweeted.