BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi on Friday said that the Supreme Court verdict quashing 2G spectrum allocation to 122 companies is a virtual endorsement of the "draft report" of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) headed by him and vindicates his stand.
Welcoming the Supreme Court decision on Thrusday, the PAC chairperson insisted that the apex court's observations have exposed what was earlier brought out in the proceedings of the Parliamentary panel.
He referred to the controversial "draft report" of the PAC which was leaked to the media and published by several newspapers and claimed there were several similarities between its content and the observations of the Supreme Court.
"The draft report states that spectrum and the license to use it should be separate. It also said the finance minister had suggested to Prime Minister that what has been done in 2G spectrum allocation has been done and there was no need for auction. The report also states that the additional spectrum given away free to these companies should be charged," Joshi told reporters.
Asked if this meant the draft report of PAC on 2G spectrum was authentic, Joshi evaded a direct reply.
Drawing further similarities between the Supreme Court observations and the PAC draft report, Joshi said the price of 2G spectrum should have been determined through auction. The report had also called for cancellation of the licenses, which was done by the court on Thursday.
He maintained that when the Supreme Court observed that there had been a huge loss to the exchequer, it was in a manner endorsing the presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore arrived at by the CAG and endorsed in the draft report.
Joshi also took potshots at Union ministers Kapil Sibal and P Chidambaram for their defence in the 2G spectrum case.
"The well-known advocate, Kapil Sibal- who is also the government's advocate- had said there was zero loss... Chidambaram had said even a person of average intelligence would have understood what he was saying (in his letter to the Prime Minister on 2G spectrum allocation)," Joshi said.
Though many feel the Supreme Court verdict on Thursday indicted former telecom minister A Raja but not Chidambaram, the BJP leader felt the latter cannot be absolved.
"Chidambaram's complicity in the case is very clear. The 2001 Cabinet decision (taken by the NDA government) said the finance minister and the DoT minister will in conjunction take a decision on the price. Who decided the price in 2007. The (then) finance minister (Chidambaram) was quiet when the officials said spectrum should be auctioned," he said.
To corroborate his point, Joshi cited the letter written by Pranab Mukherjee to the Prime Minister later, when he became finance minister, stating that had his predecessor intervened, the loss could have been prevented.
He hit out at the UPA ministers for alleging that the CAG report on 2G was malafide and that the PAC chairperson was trying to destabilise the government.
"The Committee's (PAC) work has been supported and accepted by the court (through its judgement)," he said.
Asked about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement on Friday that he was working towards zero-tolerance to corruption, Joshi said, "If he is doing so then he should first sack Chidambaram and Sibal and take action against the officials in PMO and law ministry who suppressed the 2G files for 16 months. PM should first bring zero-tolerance to graft in his office and his Cabinet."