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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 945

CAG’s Spectrum finding: Sibal backtracks after rap from Supreme Court

From R. Vasudevan - Reporting from New Delhi
New Delhi, 22 January (Asiantribune.com):

After a rap from the Supreme Court and Parliament's Public Account Committee (PAC), Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Friday said that he meant no disrespect to any institution by his comments on the comptroller and auditor general (CAG) report on the second-generation mobile telephony spectrum scam, but maintained that "canards" had to be responded to.

"I mean no disrespect to any institution... I have neither directly or indirectly tried to interfere with any process going on," Sibal said. He, however, said that the government needed to respond to canards which were being spread because of the CAG's report on 2G spectrum scam.

The CAG has estimated a loss of Rs1.76 lakh crores to the exchequer due to sale of Spectrum in 2008 at 2001 prices during the tenure of former Telecom Minister A Raja of the DMK.

"I am fully aware of my responsibilities, my obligations, my duties not only as a minister but also as a citizen of this country," he said in response to PAC Chairman's letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar.

Sibal, meanwhile, welcomed Supreme Court's observation that no one should comment on CAG report. "I wish that Supreme Court had made this observations earlier as that could have prevented an unnecessary controversy."

The Supreme Court on Friday had pulled up Kapil Sibal for making statements undermining the CAG report on the second-generation mobile telephony spectrum scam and asked him to behave with some sense of responsibility. "It is unfortunate. The minister should behave with some sense of responsibility," a bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice AK Ganguly said. It directed the CBI to go ahead with the probe into the scam without getting influenced by any body's statement.

"In our opinion, the CBI which is conducting investigation into the mobile bandwidth is expected to carry out the probe without being influenced by the statement made by anybody, anywhere, including the press," the bench said. Sibal had termed as "utterly erroneous and without any basis" the estimated loss arrived at by the CAG on account of allocation of mobile bandwidth to telecom operator.

- Asian Tribune -

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