Joshi ''writes'' to Meira on ministers attacking CAG, PAC

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New Delhi, Jan 21 (PAC) PAC Chairman Murli Manohar Joshiis understood to have written a letter to Lok Sabha SpeakerMeira Kumar requesting her to ensure that the authority of PACand CAG is not impinged upon by ministers.

Referring to Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal''s recentoutburst against CAG report, Joshi said the Telecom Ministrywas given ample time to respond on the findings of the CAG andquestioned the timing of the attack when the report hasalready been tabled in Parliament, sources told PTI.

Joshi said since the Speaker is the competent authorityto guide the Public Accounts Committee, she should ensure thatno such "impropriety" on party of the ministry recurs.

He said such comments will have a serious impact on thehealth of democracy and if a confrontation between CAG/PAC andthe ministry is allowed to develop, then the days of "healthydemocracy" are numbered.

Joshi also wondered whether Sibal''s statement had thepermission and consent of the Prime Minister.

The BJP leader had after the last meeting of PAC onJanuary 12 said, "The sense of the committee was that Sibal''sremarks were improper, against propriety and an attack on thedignity of PAC and CAG".

The Telecom Minister had termed as "utterly erroneous andwithout any basis" the estimated presumptive loss arrived atby the CAG on account of allocation of 2G spectrum to telecomoperators.

The Supreme Court today also pulled up Sibal for makingstatements undermining the CAG report on the 2G scam and askedhim to behave with some sense of responsibility.

"It is unfortunate. The minister should behave with somesense of responsibility," a bench of Justices G S Singhvi andA K Ganguly said.

It directed the CBI to go ahead with the probe into thescam without getting influenced by anybody''s statement. TheCAG has estimated a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to theexchequer in allocation of 2G spectrum during the tenure offormer Telecom Minister A Raja.

"In our opinion, the CBI which is conductinginvestigation into the 2G scam is expected to carry out theprobe without being influenced by the statement made byanybody, anywhere, including the press," the bench said. PTINAB AMR

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