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2G case: Opposition takes former CAG auditor to task

January 22, 2013 18:17 IST

Former CAG lead auditor R P Singh, who had questioned the loss figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore in 2G spectrum allocation, on Tuesday came under fire in the JPC with opposition members contesting his claim.

Appearing before the JPC, Singh, the then Director General, Audit (Post and Telecommunication) said "presumptive loss was not part of the accounting code which is accepted internationally."

He deposed before the Parliamentary panel for the second time on Tuesday, the first being on November 14, 2011.

He was then asked to appear again before JPC following demands by BJP members who had claimed that he hid facts and made contradictory statements to the media later.

When Yashwant Sinha (BJP) and Gurudas Gupta (CPI) asked how he could deny his role in the preparation of the report when it was he who had issued norms and guidelines to the field staff, Singh read out a circular which stated that he was to provide the inputs to the head office which would prepare the report after collating the data.

Singh also said that he had deleted the paragraph on presumptive loss from the draft report as it was "not logical", but the head office later included it in the final report, JPC sources said.

The former CAG official told the JPC that he was made to sign the report one evening and asked to send it to the telecom ministry and the finance ministry the next day by 10 am.

When Sinha questioned as to why did he not refuse to sign the report, Singh said that he had little option but to comply with the orders of his superiors, the sources quoted him as saying.

At one point of time Sinha is learnt to have lost his temper and termed Singh as "not dependable" at which JPC chief P C Chacko intervened to slam the agitated member.

JPC members from the opposition parties also questioned Singh, who superannuated from service on August 31, 2011, on his interviews to newspapers and TV channels.

To a charge that he had hidden facts from the committee during his previous deposition, Singh told the panel that he had not made a suo motu statement before JPC but had only replied to questions posed to him, the sources said.

He said he did not hide facts and answered all the questions asked to him.

When some members asked how he could 'disown' the CAG report after making a presentation before Public Accounts Committee on the issue, Singh claimed that he was only part of the team of government auditors, the sources said.

In reply to a JPC request, PAC has told the committee that Singh was part of the CAG team on December 27, 2010 when the report on 2G was first discussed by it.

Later, talking to reporters, Singh said that his credibility has been acknowledged by international agencies and refuted suggestions that he was being "used" by vested interests.

"I merely stated the facts before the JPC," he said.

During his November, 2011 deposition before JPC, Singh had said that the loss due to spectrum allocation was Rs 2,645 crore and he had signed the final report on the alleged scam on the direction of his superiors.

He had said quantification of loss was not part of the objectives of the CAG audit and the final figure of Rs.1.76 lakh crore was at best a "mathematical guess".

Singh had told the JPC that the Rs 2,645 crore figure, calculated by him, was the actual loss based on non-revision of entry fee for telecom operators and the figure was part of the draft report.

 

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