Wrong to say no loss in 2G spectrum scam: CBI chief tells PAC

February 15th, 2011 - 8:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Meira Kumar New Delhi, Feb 15 (IANS) Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director A.P. Singh Tuesday told parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that it would be wrong to say that there was no loss to the exchequer in the 2G spectrum scam. PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi told reporters after the CBI director appeared before the panel Tuesday that Singh gave frank answers to questions on the 2G controversy.

“The important thing that he (the CBI director) said was that it would be wrong to say from the progress in the case so far that there was zero loss,” Joshi said.

The CBI director’s remarks contradict those of Communications Minister Kapil Sibal last month that the estimated loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore arrived at by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) was “utterly erroneous and without any basis”.

Joshi said the CBI director told the PAC members that the agency was focused more on the criminal investigation in the 2G spectrum case, which was its main mandate and he cannot say much about the quantum of loss to the exchequer.

Joshi said that more information had been sought by the members from the CBI chief.

Asked if former communications minister Arun Shourie will be asked to appear before PAC, Joshi said it will depend on the facts told by the CBI to the committee.

“The CBI has called him (Shourie) Feb 21. After talking to him, they will keep the facts before the panel. The PAC will look into it and the members will take a decision on that basis,” he said.

Asked about the letter written by him to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar concerning remarks of Sibal slamming the CAG’s report on the 2G spectrum, Joshi said he had received a reply.

He said the members felt the issue should be discussed further with the speaker.

To a question about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s offer to appear before PAC, Joshi said his letter is with the PAC. “If a decision is taken, you will come to know,” he said.

He said the Prime Minister’s Office had provided a lot of information and more queries have been forwarded.

On the possibility of summoning Sibal, he said a decision will be taken by the PAC members.

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