Former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai on Thursday tendered an unconditional apology to Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam for 'wrongly mentioning' him as one of the MPs who had pressured him not to name former prime minister Manmohan Singh in the CAG report on 2G spectrum allocation.
Nirupam had filed a defamation case against Rai after the former CAG in his book in 2014 made the allegation against him and repeated it in interviews to the media.
'I had inadvertently and wrongly mentioned the name of Sanjay Nirupam as one of the MPs who pressurised me to keep the then prime minister Manmohan Singh's name out of the CAG report on 2G spectrum allocation during the meetings in the PAC or the sidelines of the JPC,' Rai said in his affidavit.
The former CAG has also stated that the statements made by him against Nirupam, as televised and published, 'are factually incorrect'.
'I understand the pain and agony my statements have caused to Sanjay Nirupam, his family and his well-wishers and thus, would like to offer my unconditional apology for the hurt caused by my such statements to Sanjay Nirupam, his family, friends and his well-wishers. That I hope that Sanjay Nirupam will consider and accept my aforesaid unconditional apology and close this issue,' Rai has said in his affidavit filed in the court.
The court of Metropolitan Magistrate in Patiala House on Thursday disposed of the case after recording Nirupam's statement accepting Rai's apology.
"Vinod Rai has been discharged in the case. Since his apology has been accepted by Nirupam, the case has been disposed of after recording his statement," Nirupam's advocate R K Handoo told PTI.
Nirupam later said Rai should apologise to the country over the CAG reports on 2G spectrum and coal block allocations, alleging that both of these were 'bogus'.
"Vinod Rai should apologise to the entire country for these bogus reports that he brought out," Nirupam told reporters later.
He also expressed happiness that his stand was vindicated and the former CAG apologised for his wrongful claims made against him.
'He must apologise to the nation now for all his forged reports about 2G and coal block allocations done by the UPA government,' Nirupam tweeted.
Congress general secretary and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the truth stands vindicated.
'The blatant lies to defame Dr. Manmohan Singh and Congress-UPA stand exposed with this affidavit,' he said.
'Kudos to Sanjay Nirupam for his persistence. Shouldn't the News Channels apologise too? Shouldn't Mr. Vinod Rai now not resign from public office,' Surjewala asked on Twitter.
Nirupam had taken strong exception to Rai's charges made in his book and in subsequent interviews and had slapped a defamation suit in the Delhi court in 2014.
Nirupam had also accused Rai of intentionally trying to 'defame' him and harm his reputation by giving out false information.