2G report: Vinod Rai apologises to Sanjay Nirupam

2G report: Vinod Rai apologises to Sanjay Nirupam

The case was disposed of by Metropolitan Magistrate in Patiala House court after recording Nirupam's statement

Former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai. Credit: PTI File Photo

Former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai has tendered an unconditional apology to Congress leader Sanjay Nirpuam, backtracking from his repeated assertions in media interviews seven years ago that the former MP pressured him not to name former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the 2G spectrum allocation report, prompting a call for apology before the nation for his "forged reports" against the UPA government.

Rai's apology, in which he said he was "factually incorrect" about Nirupam and "wrongly mentioned" the politician, came in an affidavit he submitted in a court here in connection with the defamation case against him after he made the claim during interviews on his book 'Not Just an Accountant: The Diary of a Conscience Keeper' in 2014.

The case was disposed of by Metropolitan Magistrate in Patiala House court after recording Nirupam's statement accepting Rai's apology.

Rai authored CAG reports on 2G spectrum allocation and coal allocation had been politically damaging for the Congress-led UPA leading to its ouster from power in 2014. Rai's notional loss calculation of Rs 1.75 lakh crore in 2G allocation and Rs 1.8 lakh crore in coal allocation was used by Congress' opponents in the run up to the election.

In his affidavit submitted in the court, Rai said, "I have realised that, in answer to questions posed to me by the interviewers, I had inadvertently and wrongly mentioned the name of Sanjay Nirupam as one of the MPs who pressured me to keep the then prime minister Manmohan Singh's name out of the CAG report on 2G spectrum allocation during the meetings in the PAC or the sidelines of the JPC etc." 

He also said that the statements made by him against Nirupam, as televised and published, "are factually incorrect".

"I understand the pain and agony my statements have caused to Sanjay Nirupam, his family and his well-wishers and thus, would like to offer my unconditional apology for the hurt caused by my such statements to Sanjay Nirupam, his family, friends and his well-wishers. That I hope that Sanjay Nirupam will consider and accept my aforesaid unconditional apology and close this issue," Rai has said.

Nirupam said Rai has "finally" tendered an unconditional apology to him and he must now "apologise to the nation now for all his forged reports about 2G and Coal block allocations done by the UPA government". He also said he was happy that his stand was vindicated and the former CAG apologised for his wrongful claims made against him.

Rai's CAG reports on spectrum allocation and coal allocation, where he gave presumptive loss figures, had done damage to the Congress

Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said, "the man who lied in the name of Sanjay Nirupam to sell his book and had to apologise today, imagine how many lies he must have written in the book and in his CAG reports."

Former media adviser to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and journalist Pankaj Pachauri said Nirupam has "opened the Pandora’s Box of many lies floated about 2G deals" and other political leaders should come "forward to expose " Rai. "At 73, he can redeem himself by admitting that he 'inadvertently and wrongly' lied. It is also a lesson for journalists," he tweeted. 

Former Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said in tweets, "Doesn't he owe an apology to the nation for his wrong calculations and going to town with them causing havoc in both the sectors?...This is perhaps first of the many apologies that Mr Vinod Rai may have to issue, including one to the nation."  

Check out the latest DH videos: