'No Regrets': Former CAG Vinod Rai Ends Silence on 2G Acquittals, Defends Rs 1.76 Lakh Crore Loss Figure
File photo of former CAG Vinod Rai.
New Delhi: In his first reaction since DMK leader A Raja and others were acquitted in the 2G scam last year, former CAG Vinod Rai has said he doesn’t have any regrets about the investigation he carried out into the spectrum scam allocation.
A CBI court had not only acquitted the accused on December 21 last year, but also dealt a body blow to CAG and CBI’s estimation of huge loss in the grant of 2G licences. The court had held that some people "artfully" arranged few selected facts and created a scam "when there was none".
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) estimated a loss of Rs 1.76 crore to the national exchequer in the allocation of 2G spectrum licences to private players when Manmohan Singh government was in power between 2004 and 2009.
The CBI had alleged in its charge sheet that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of licences for 2G spectrum, which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.
Special CBI Judge OP Saini, however, observed that due to various "actions and inactions" of the government officials concerned of the Department of Telecom (DoT), a huge scam was seen by everyone “where there was none”.
Ending his silence nine months later, Vinod Rai has defended the loss figured arrived at during his investigation, saying the amount was “recovered in 3G spectrum allocation”.
Speaking to CNN-News18, Rai added that the CBI investigation was “totally different from the CAG” assessment of the loss.
“There is no question of any regret about my CAG probe in the spectrum allocation. Our job was simply to audit on the basis of government documents that were available… The loss we calculated on the basis of the 2G allocation was proved to be correct as that was the amount recovered when 3G spectrum was allocated,” he said.
Asked about the acquittal of A Raja and other accused, Rai maintained he “didn’t feel sad” about the verdict.
“The CBI court went by the investigation done by the CBI, which in the words of the court was poor,” he added.
Speaking about the internal turf war in the CBI that unfolded between former director Alok Verma and former special director Rakesh Asthana this year, Rai said, “There is urgent need to scrutinise at CVC level on who all are coming in at top positions in the CBI. It’s clear that in the case of Verma and Asthana, proper investigation wasn’t done.”