New Delhi, Nov 16 (IANS) India’s top auditor Vinod Rai Wednesday dismissed allegations that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Murli Manohar Joshi had tried to influence his report on the allocation of telecom spectrum.
“There was no pressure from any quarter on this department (Comptroller and Auditor General, or CAG,) with regard to the audit of allocation of 2G spectrum. The CAG has always taken a stern view of any attempts of pressure or interference in the discharge of his constitutional duties and functions,” said Rai, who heads India’s premier auditing institution.
He was addressing a function to celebrate 150 years of the institution here. The function was also attended by Joshi, who heads parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that oversees government spending.
Rai’s comments come a day after Joshi, as PAC chief, was alleged to have pushed the CAG to speed up finalisation of the 2G report before it was tabled in parliament’s winter session last year.
In an internal note dated July 13, 2010, R.B. Sinha, director general, report central (RC) in the CAG office, had written that he had got a call from Joshi.
The note, addressed to Deputy CAG Rekha Gupta, states that Joshi cited “tremendous pressure on him from parliamentarians and the 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’.”
Rai said the PAC was investigating the 2G case on its own and his team was available to assist the panel in its investigation of telecom policies. “The CAG also made it clear to the PAC that audit findings cannot be shared with anyone, including the PAC, before being tabled in parliament.”