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PAC may move privileges committee against RP Singh

Singh alleged that PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi had tried to influence the CAG report

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Some members of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) may move the privileges committee of the parliament against former director general of audit (post & telecommunications) for making insinuations against the committee and its chairman Murli Manohar Joshi and later backing off, according to people familiar with the development.

RP Singh said he had documents to support whatever he has said and that there should be enquiries on people who have leaked reports, tried repeatedly to access audit findings etc also.

Earlier, Singh claimed that he was forced to sign the report which estimated presumptive losses of Rs 1.76 lakh crore in the allocation of 2g spectrum. The loss figure according to Singh’s estimates was Rs 2,645 crore, which he arrived at by adjusting Rs 1,658 crore entry fee fixed in 2001 for inflation. Singh had also claimed the Joshi had tried to influence the CAG’s final report in one of his media interactions.

But appearing in a CNN-IBN programme by Karan Thapar, he denied that he ever told The Indian Express that Joshi had tried to influence the CAG report, when the newspaper had specifically quoted him as saying so on Friday.

When contacted by Business Standard, at least two members of the said the matter had not yet been discussed in the committee. An MP from the oppositon said Singh’s insinuations had cast aspersions on the objectivity and integrity of the PAC Chairman and this was unacceptable conduct.However, a Congress MP said there was no question of  punishing Singh because when he made his observations the report had not yet been taken up by the PAC.

But that Singh had played a big part in discrediting the PAC and the CAG was clear. Buoyed by Singh’s suggestions to newspapers that the BJP and the CAG were together in ‘creating’ a telecom scam that lost the government Rs 1.76 lakh crore, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), that had the most to lose from the scam –  its minister and an MP, the daughter of the party supremo were incacerated on charges of corruption – has given notice of a discussion on the 2G spectrum scam in Parliament.

Singh suggested that the huge loss figures may have been prompted by a political nexus between the BJP and CAG and that a small indicative loss was blown up by the CAG. That Singh changed his mind hours after he made this disclosure has only strengthened the DMK’s determination to have the issue thrashed out in Parliament.

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