Former Director General of Audit, Post and Telecommunications, CAG, RP Singh on Saturday made a U-turn on his earlier claim that Public Accounts Committee Chairman and BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi had influenced the 2G report that indicted the government.
Speaking to Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate, the ex-audit officer said that he had been misquoted by the newspaper which had initially carried the report.
Below is the transcript of the excerpt from the interview.
Karan Thapar: You said Murli Manohar Joshi, Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, sought to influence the CAG report on 2G while the report was still being prepared. How confident are you of this claim?
RP Singh: This claim has been made, Mr Thapar, in the newspaper reports. I do remember there is documentary evidence where it is stated that a member of the PAC had asked to calculate losses using a particular formula. I cannot confirm the name, but I confirm the content (evidence).
Karan Thapar: Just a moment. When you say this claim has been made in newspapers, that newspaper is Friday's Indian Express and it expressly says that you told the paper that Dr Murli Manohar Joshi as Chairman of the PAC sought to influence the CAG report whilst it was still being prepared. Do you stand by the Indian Express report which specifically quotes you or are you refuting it?
RP Singh: I am not refuting. I am just saying one thing. I said, 'a member of PAC'. That stands corrected.
Karan Thapar: This is very important. You told the Indian Express that a member of the PAC had tried to influence the CAG report and not Dr Joshi himself?
RP Singh: Right, you are right.
Karan Thapar: So, the Indian Express which claims you said Dr Joshi is inaccurate.
RP Singh: It has misquoted me.
Karan Thapar: A member of the PAC could be any one of the 20 members. The paper talks about Chairman of the PAC which is Dr Joshi. So that is an inaccuracy?
RP Singh: Evidence relates to only a member.
Karan Thapar: There is no evidence of Dr Joshi trying to influence the CAG report?
RP Singh: Not that I have seen.