PAC chief Joshi writes to Speaker against Sibal

Friday, January 21, 2011

NEW DELHI - Murli Manohar Joshi, BJP leader who heads parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), has in a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar questioned Communications Minister Kapil Sibal’s critical remarks against the national auditor’s report on the 2G spectrum auction.

Joshi released the letter at a press conference here Friday.

Joshi wrote the letter soon after the Supreme Court made adverse remarks against the minister earlier Friday.

In his letter, Joshi said the telecom ministry was given ample time to respond on the findings of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). He questioned the timing of the attack when the report has already been tabled in parliament.

Joshi said since the speaker is the competent authority to guide the PAC, she should ensure that no such “impropriety” on the part of the ministry recurs.

He said such comments will have a serious impact on the health of democracy and if a confrontation between CAG/PAC and the ministry is allowed to develop, the days of “healthy democracy” are numbered.

Joshi also wondered whether Sibal’s statement had the permission and consent of the prime minister.

The apex court slammed Sibal for his remark that the official auditor’s report was “utterly erroneous” in assessing the loss in award of telecom spectrum at Rs.1.76 lakh crore ($40 billion) and said the probe should be carried on the basis of the CAG report only.

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