Against the backdrop of a CBI prosecutor in 2G case allegedly being caught on tape sharing legal strategy with an accused, members of a Parliamentary panel on Wednesday raised questions on the credibility of the investigation agency and its probe in the case.
Some members of the Public Accounts Committee, including its Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi raked the issue of the alleged taped conversation between CBI prosecutor
A K Singh and accused Sanjay Chandra, managing director of Unitech, when CBI Director Ranjit Sinha appeared before the panel.
The members are learnt to have said that such incidents create doubts over the credibility of the 2G probe in particular and that of the agency in general.
Though 2G issue is not on the agenda of the PAC, members raised the matter before Sinha. The controversial PAC draft report on 2G is still pending as Congress members had opposed it and it could not be tabled in Parliament.
Sinha is learnt to have said that CBI has taken action by removing the prosecutor from the case based on prima facie facts.
CBI officials had appeared before the panel to give an update of its investigations into the Commonwealth Games scam and the coal block allocation case.
In reply to posers by members on how the agency plans to strengthen its investigation skills, the CBI chief is understood to have said that the organisation has moved proposals to the government for modernisation.
Some members suggested that the CBI should emerge as an "independent" organisation to ensure a fair investigation.
The PAC also asked the agency to provide details of cases where it has filed closure report either at the preliminary enquiry level or in courts.
The agency was also asked to explain the methodology used in quantifying losses in cases it is investigating.
CBI representatives said losses are quantified only when "criminal intent" leads to losses to the exchequer.
In the 2G case, the CBI had quantified losses to the tune of Rs 30,984.55 crore due to criminality of intent in the allocation of 122 licences and also allocation of additional spectrum beyond eligibility.