Public Accounts Committee Chairman asks members to apologise for remarks against CAG Vinod Rai

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Public Accounts Committee Chairman asks members to apologise for remarks against CAG Vinod Rai
New Delhi:  Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Murli Manohar Joshi, probing the 2G scam, has written a letter to the committee members asking them to apologise to Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Vinod Rai for their remarks against him.

However, UPA members are saying they won't apologise.

Mr Joshi has written a six-page letter that enlists what the members had said and includes three important rulings.

The letter states CAG and his representative shall continue to be present when a witness is called to depose, so that his expert opinion and independent advice is instantly available to the committee to facilitate cross examination of the witness.

This ruling comes in the background of the last meeting where members objected to the CAG, Vinod Rai, being present as RP singh was going to depose. There was a war of words during the meeting and several allegations were made against Mr Rai.

Mr Joshi in his letter has now made it clear that no allegation can be levelled against the CAG nor motive attributed to his findings.

If members have ground to believe that the CAG had exceeded his jurisdiction or his findings are not based on facts, they are at liberty to seek remedy under the rules. Members, who have made allegations against the CAG in the PAC, must withdraw their words and render unqualified apologies to the CAG.

In his letter to the members, Mr Joshi said, "the honourable members who made wild allegations against, and cast aspersions on, the CAG in the PAC must withdraw their words and render unqualified apologies to the CAG."

Mr Joshi said when no derogatory remarks can be made against the CAG on the floor of the House, no allegations can be made against him in the PAC either.

He referred to an instance of attack on the CAG by the then Defence Minister Krishna Menon on the CAG in 1960 and the Speaker's ruling in which it was said nothing shall be said against CAG's remarks whatever he might say and however strong the language that might have been used.

The Defence Minister then expressed his unqualified regrets and withdrew his remarks.

(With inputs from PTI)

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