SC, Joshi rap Sibal on CAG

Despite the Supreme Court criticism for his trashing of the CAG report on the spectrum scam and PAC chairman MM Joshi requesting the Speaker to take action against "such constitutional impropriety", union telecom minister Kapil Sibal stood his ground on Friday.
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Updated on Jan 22, 2011 12:45 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

Despite the Supreme Court criticism for his trashing of the CAG report on the spectrum scam and PAC chairman MM Joshi requesting the Speaker to take action against "such constitutional impropriety", union telecom minister Kapil Sibal stood his ground on Friday.

“The government has a right to the freedom of speech just like the opposition and the media. The opposition had denied the government an opportunity to place the facts before the nation by stalling Parliament,” Sibal said.

On January 7, he trashed the Comptroller and Auditor General’s calculation of the loss in spectrum allocation as “erroneous”.

On Thursday, an SC bench, comprising Justice GS Singhvi and Justice AK Ganguly, refused to take cognizance of the minister’s statement, even as the petitioner, Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy, said Sibal had ridiculed the CAG during an official conference.

Swamy had sought cancellation of 2G licences that were allegedly given for a consideration.

The bench, however, verbally stated: “The minister’s remark is unfortunate. The minister is supposed to say it with some sense of responsibility. He should have some sense of responsibility.”

BJP leader Joshi wrote to the Lok Sabha Speaker, questioning the propriety of the minister questioning the CAG report after it was tabled in the House. The PAC is currently reviewing the CAG report.

Sibal, however, welcomed the SC suggestion that comments on the scam during investigation should be avoided. He pointed out that the opposition had started an attack on the government based on a leaked CAG report.

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