Congress objects to CAG’s statement, alleges report leaked


New Delhi: The Congress Thursday objected to the Comptroller and Auditor General’s statement about the possibility of contempt for comments made about a matter being considered by a parliamentary committee and alleged that the auditor’s report on 2G spectrum controversy got “leaked” before being presented in parliament.

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Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan alleged that the official auditor appeared to be applying different yardsticks to the comments made on its report about the 2G spectrum scam.

She said CAG had issued a press release Jan 12 in which it referred to rules which prohibit any MP from making comments when a matter is being looked into by a parliamentary committee.

“I express surprise and distress…As an MP, I take objection as these are comments from a constitutional authority. It worries me as an MP,” she said, adding that subject to correction, she could not find any such rule.

Natarajan said CAG did not object when Bharatiya Janata Party leaders including L. K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley spoke on the report and wondered if there were different yardsticks for those who support the report and those who criticise it. “There cannot be one standard for those who accept it and one for those who criticise it,” she said.

“We are surprised and disturbed. To suggest that MPs cannot speak is a strong suggestion from a constitutional authority,” she said.

Natarajan also alleged that the CAG report was leaked. She said that details of reports had been appearing in the newspapers from Oct 19 while the report was tabled in Parliament Nov 16.

“How was it leaked. How did the details come in the public domain?” she asked

Answering a query, she said the party supports stand of Communications Minister Kapil Sibal who had criticised the report.

Sibal had questioned calculations of CAG that put the notional losses while awarding 2G spectrum at Rs.1.76 lakh crore ($40 billion).

The auditor had said in the press release that it just followed the mandate provided to it and submitted its findings to both houses of parliament Nov 16.

It said the report was then automatically transmitted to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC)and hinted that Sibal had broken rules of parliamentary procedure “as no person, including a member of parliament, should make or publish a statement or comment about that matter”.

“Making public comments on the matter which is being considered by a Parliamentary Committee is highly improper and may even amount to contempt of the House,” the statement said.