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2G: CAG split out in open ahead of PAC hearing


Bhupendra Chaubey,CNN-IBN
Oct 29, 2011 at 05:20pm IST

New Delhi: A split in the CAG over the 2G loss figure has come to the fore. CNN-IBN has accessed copies of confidential notes that show the lead auditor was forced to take the Comptroller Auditor General's line.

The confidential notes were exchanged between Deputy CAG Rekha Gupta and Director General for Audits R P Singh. According to them, R P Singh was coerced into toeing Gupta and CAG Vinod Rai line.

The high and mighty of India's political and corporate world have been cooling their heels in Tihar Jail for months for their involvement in the 2G scam, largely on the basis of a report prepared by the CAG. However, now there are questions being raised about the report itself.

The letters accessed by CNN-IBN raise a fundamental question – Why was a consensus difficult to reach in the CAG on this report?

A letter dated February 26, 2010, as the CAG report was in its final stages of auditing, was almost an accusation against RP Singh, one of the main auditors who prepared the report. Singh is the one who recorded his dissent with the loss figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore in the scam.

Written on behalf of Deputy CAG Rekha Gupta and addressed to Singh, the letter says, "It appears that there is no strategy planned for auditing the private service providers. Valuable time has been lost since October and work is yet to begin. A report may be sent every Friday, which will be put up before the CAG."

Just a week later, Singh wrote back directly to Gupta, crying foul. In a two-page letter, Singh first explained how he had been going about his work in a diligent manner according to him, and then launched an all out assault against Rekha Gupta and CAG Vinod Rai.

"My efforts, commitments to my job and dedication to the cause of audit to do my job with sincerity and integrity have been put to question and you have raised serious doubts about my present interest in the job. Till Date, I have never been hit in such a way in my entire career. It is painful, hurting and less than fair. Your comments are exaggerated and over stretched. Your comments are demoralising and not inspiring at all," said the letter.

The issue has certainly raised serious questions on the functioning of CAG.

"CAG's own house isn't in order, It shows that they do not have the capability to deal with such issues," said senior lawyer Gopal Jain.

RP Singh himself has been summoned before the PAC headed by Murli Manohar Joshi on Monday, where he will be asked what forced him to write this kind of a letter to his superiors, what was going on, was all not well, and if the split was so wide open within the CAG, why did he put his signatures on the final report.

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