2G scam: 'No disrespect to any institution', says Sibal

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New Delhi, Jan 21 (ANI): After the Supreme Court and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) pulled him up for making statements that undermined the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the 2G spectrum scam, Union Minister for Communication and Information Technology Kapil Sibal on Friday said that he meant no disrespect to any institution by his comments on the CAG report.

"I mean no disrespect to any institution. I have neither directly or indirectly tried to interfere with any process going on," said Sibal.

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and PAC Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi has today written to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar stating that it was improper for Sibal to have criticized the report on 2G spectrum scam prepared by the government's auditor.

Joshi has reportedly written that the Telecom Ministry was given sufficient time to respond on the CAG findings, and said it should not have publicly questioned the report after it was tabled in the Parliament.

"Since the Speaker is the competent authority to guide the Public Accounts Committee, she should ensure that no such "impropriety" on party of the ministry recurs," said Joshi.

The BJP leader further said that if a confrontation develops between the Telecom Ministry and the Public Accounts Committee or the CAG, then the days of "healthy democracy" are numbered.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court pulled up Sibal for making statements that undermined the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the 2G-spectrum scam.

"It is unfortunate. The minister should behave with some sense of responsibility," the bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said.

"In our opinion, the CBI which is conducting investigation into the 2G scam is expected to carry out the probe without being influenced by the statement made by anybody, anywhere," the bench added.

Sibal on January 7 challenged the CAG"s report, saying the figure of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore is utterly erroneous.

"Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) figure of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore is utterly erroneous. The losses were much lower and that over Rs. 100 crore had been recovered after the government sent out notices," he told reporters.

Sibal agreed with the CAG on two counts - one, that there was something wrong with the rollout of the telecom policy and two, that there was criminal culpability and which is why the CBI, under the Supreme Court, was investigating the matter. (ANI)

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