PAC says Tata candid, pulls up ‘evasive’ Radia
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) found corporate lobbyist Niira Radia "evasive'' and industrialist Ratan Tata "candid'' when they appeared before it separately in connection with their respective roles in the allotment of 2G spectrum. Saroj Nagi reports. Quiz time | What caused 2G scamdelhi Updated: Apr 05, 2011 01:54 IST
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) found corporate lobbyist Niira Radia "evasive'' and industrialist Ratan Tata "candid'' when they appeared before it separately in connection with their respective roles in the allotment of 2G spectrum.
Panel chairman Murli Manohar Joshi pulled up Radia who reportedly got off to a false start by saying that she was appearing before the PAC at the panel’s “request”. Joshi quickly corrected her, saying she had been issued an “order” to appear before the committee.During the meeting he also told her that any discrepancy or wrong statement by her would amount to contempt of Parliament. Radia could only fold her hands in a gesture of compliance. But at the end of two-and-a-half hours, the panel concluded that Radia avoided giving straight answers.
“She was not in a mood to place facts before the committee. When asked about the tapes, she was evasive,'” Joshi told mediapersons later. Radia responses included “I do not know”, “I cannot say this is correct’ and “I do not remember”, Joshi said.
When reminded that she had already accepted before the CBI some of the conversations in the tapes, Radia admitted that she had heard some of them.
The panel then asked her to submit the list of tapes she had heard so that it could also go through them. Once it hears the tapes, it will decide on whether it needs to call her again.
Vaishnavi Communications, which Radia heads, issued a statement claiming that she had “extended her cooperation and offered clarification on all issues”. Unlike Radia, the panel found Tata giving clear answers. On occasions when he said he could not remember something, he told the panel he would provide the answers within a couple of days. During the three hours that he was with the panel, Tata accepted that the voice on the tape (relating to his conversation with Radia) was his. He also admitted having written a letter to DMK chief M Karunanidhi.
In contrast to Radia, he started off on a positive note by saying that he was somewhat apprehensive of appearing before the panel.
Asked if the panel was “satisfied’’ with Tata’s responses, Joshi said the question was of verifying whether the answers were right or wrong. According to a panel member, Tata was not convincing on certain issues such as his claim that he had “loaned’’ R1,600 crore to Unitech and that the amount has been returned to him with interest.