PAC-CAG Connection: 'Murli Manohar Joshi snapping at CAG heels'

NAT

Documents show Parliament's Public Accounts Committee led by BJP's Murli Manohar Joshi was snapping at the heels of the Comptroller and Auditor General during the 2G spectrum allotment audit even as the CAG was grappling with internal contradictions on the loss estimate.

It has been claimed, in the noisy battle of competing claims sparked by former CAG official R P Singh's interview to The Indian Express, that Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) kept a reasonable distance from the national auditor as it audited the allotment of 2G spectrum in 2010.

'Where I said "you told the paper" should have been phrased "you suggested to the paper that Joshi sought to influence the CAG report".'

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The trail of CAG's internal documents linked to the audit, however, shows the two institutions interacted closely in the months before the auditor submitted its report. PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi contacted CAG official R B Sinha on at least two occasions, and the PAC secretariat sought some 'talking points' for discussion in the committee meeting.

A file noting by CAG official Shubha Kumar shows the CAG initially intended to submit the report in the monsoon session of Parliament in 2010. The PAC chief seemed to be aware of this plan, and had hoped to time the PAC's report accordingly.

In an interview that formed the basis of the report published in The Indian Express on November 23, former D-G, Post and Telecommunication R P Singh — the man behind the CAG's 2G report — said that CAG officials visited the PAC chairman at his residence to assist him in preparing the PAC's report.

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