New Delhi: The 2G controversy rocked Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting here on Monday with opposition parties demanding that former DG (Audit) R P Singh be summoned and asked why he differs with CAG on the quantum of loss while the Congress members opposed the move.

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With differences persisting, the meeting was adjourned. The meeting scheduled for Tuesday has also been postponed reportedly due to Chhath festival.

Sources said the BJP and other opposition parties insisted that Singh should be summoned as he has differed with the figures of loss incurred by the government in the 2G scam. Singh, who has now retired, has stated that the loss is merely of Rs 6,000 crore while the CAG had maintained that it was to the tune of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

Prakash Javadekar (BJP) demanded that not only Singh but others like Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal- who said there was zero loss- among others, should be summoned by the PAC and asked how they had arrived at figures different from that of the CAG. AIADMK member M Thambidurai insisted that the CBI director should also be called as the agency had arrived at a different loss figure.

BJP, BJD, SAD and AIDMK referred to the letter written by Congress member Sanjay Nirupam asking that the 2G issue be discussed and said the questions which have not been addressed should be gone into.

Caught in a bind over Nirupam's letter, the Congress members argued that Singh cannot be asked to present his views in front of the CAG and his team- which is present in every PAC meeting- as he does not concur with them.

Some Congress members in the PAC were later heard saying that Nirupam had caused an unnecessary hassle by writing this letter. The matter is now with the JPC and PAC could have avoided getting into the issue afresh.

The Opposition members demanded that since Singh has retired he has nothing to fear and so can freely depose before the PAC.

One member even maintained that there have been several instances where those summoned by the Committee have differed with the CAG.

With no consensus in sight, PAC Chairperson Murli Manohar Joshi adjourned the meeting on the ground that the legal and Constitutional aspects related to the issues raised by the members on Monday will be looked into and then brought up for discussion at a later meeting.

R P Singh, who had come prepared to attend the meeting and make his presentation, was not called.

CAG to appear before JPC     

With the figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss in 2G spectrum allocation being disputed, CAG Vinod Rai and other officials of the government auditor will be asked to appear before the JPC looking into the issue.
The Joint Parliamentary Committee, which met on Monday, decided to ask Rai, his deputy Rekha Gupta and other officials of the Comptroller and Auditor General to appear before it to explain how the auditor reached at the Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss figure in 2G radiowaves allocation.
Former Director General of Audit (Post and Telecommunication) R P Singh could also be asked to appear as a witness before the panel.
Singh was the lead auditor in 2G spectrum allocation issue and had reportedly disputed the loss figure of Rs 1.76 lakh crore. Singh had reportedly said the losses were to the tune of Rs 2,645 crore.
Congress member Manish Tewari is learnt to have raised the issue of differences within the CAG on the loss figure in the meeting and demanded calling Rai to explain it. He is understood to have been supported by some non-UPA members as well.
"Since the documents provided by the CAG are voluminous, the members need to study it first...The CAG could be called on November 15," a JPC member said.
The Committee is likely to meet next on November 14 and 15. Its proposed meeting for Tuesday has been postponed due to Chhatt festival following demands made by some members from Bihar.
Rai had recently written to JPC offering to make himself along with his officials "available" whenever their "assistance" is sought.
Rai, along with other officials of CAG, had appeared before the JPC on May 30 to brief the panel on its report on spectrum allocation.
According to CAG, its officials have made "earnest effort" to supply the JPC with all the documents and records sought by it on the issue.