Dr Murali Manohar Joshi, chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, told newsmen that the claim made by Kapil Sibal, who holds temporary charge of telecom ministry was contradicted by Central Bureau of Investigation director A P Singh, who appeared before the committee in Parliament.
"The CBI director told the committee that Sibal's claim of zero loss in the 2G spectrum scam were wrong. Singh said that CBI has put the loss of more than Rs 22,000 crore. But the figure is likely to go beyond this and may reach Rs 50,000 crore", Joshi said.
Joshi clarified that the job of the investigating agency was limited to unearthing the criminal conspiracy that resulted in loss of public exchequer and whether the rules have been violated by the former telecom minister A Raja and his aides.
"The nature of loss is the job of revenue department and they would carry out their own investigations. If necessary we may call the director of the Enforcement Directorate to appear before the committee just as the CAG chief and CBI director were summoned," Joshi said.
When asked if The CBI chief was being pressurised politically, Joshi said, "Ever since the Supreme Court has taken over the monitoring of the investigations, the CBI looks to be under under no pressure whatsoever."
Will you ask former telecom minister Arun Shourie to appear before the committee if the latter offered to do so, Joshi said that since Shourie was meeting the CBI officials,"once the CBI gives its findings on what Shourie has told them, then the committee would take a decision whether to ask Shourie to appear before it. The same goes for A Raja."
When a journalist asked if the committee had made up its mind on the offer of prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh to appear before PAC he said that the offer letter was in the safe custody.
Joshi maintained that even if the government announced a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum and other scams the PAC would continue to do its job. "Nobody knows what the government has in mind. If a JPC probe is ordered, what would be its terms of reference? The PAC will carry on with its work. The JPC is an ad-hoc committee but the PAC is permanent," he added with a giggle.