Mumbai: Former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai has tendered an “unconditional apology” to Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam, seven years after he alleged that the former MP pressured him in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation case.
Rai tendered the apology in the form of a notarised affidavit in a defamation case that Nirupam had filed against him.
In 2014, Rai, in media interviews, named Nirupam as one of the MPs who pressured him to keep former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s name out of his report on the 2G spectrum allocation case. The media interviews were aired and published around the time of the release of Rai’s book, Not Just an Accountant: The Diary of the Nation’s Conscience Keeper.
Nirupam Thursday tweeted a copy of the affidavit, saying Rai “must apologise to the nation now for all his forged reports about 2G and coal block allocations done by the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government”.
Finally former CAG Vinod Rai tendered an unconditional apology to me in a defamation case filed by me in MM Court, Patiyala house, New Delhi today.
He must apologize to the nation now for all his forged reports about 2G and Coal block allocations done by the UPA Govt.#VinodRai pic.twitter.com/OdxwZXonCq
— Sanjay Nirupam (@sanjaynirupam) October 28, 2021
Speaking to ThePrint, Nirupam said, “After Vinod Rai’s affidavit, I told the court the issue is now over from my side. The court recorded my statement and the case was disposed of today (Thursday) morning.”
Rai served as CAG when an audit of coal allocations was performed and irregularities allegedly discovered. It was also his report that led to allegations of lakhs of crores worth of “notional loss” in the 2G scam allocation.
‘Understand the pain and agony my statements have caused’
In the affidavit, notarised on 23 October this year, Rai said he had made certain statements against Nirupam in September 2014 in media interviews aired on Times Now news channel, and published in media publications including The Times of India and The Indian Express, subsequent to his book’s launch.
“I have realised that in answers to questions posed to me by the interviewers, I had inadvertently and wrongly mentioned the name of Shri Sanjay Nirupam as one of the MPs, who pressurised me to keep the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name out of the CAG report on the 2G spectrum allocation during the meetings in the PAC (Public Accounts Committee) or the sidelines of the JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) etc,” Rai said in the affidavit, adding the statements televised and published were “factually incorrect”.
“I understand the pain and agony my statements have caused to Shri Sanjay Nirupam, his family, and his well wishers and thus, would like to offer my unconditional apology for the hurt caused by my such statements to Shri Sanjay Nirupam, his family, friends and his well wishers,” Rai said.
“I hope that Shri Sanjay Nirupam will consider and accept my aforesaid unconditional apology and close this issue,” he added.
‘Must apologise to nation for nonsense coal, 2G reports’
In a video statement released on Nirupam’s social media accounts, he welcomed Rai’s apology, calling it a “golden day”. He said he had also urged the former CAG to retract his 2014 statements but he had not agreed.
Nirupam also slammed Rai’s entire report on the coal block and 2G spectrum allocation cases as “fake”.
“The court didn’t say this, but I would like to say that the report that he prepared in the case of the 2G spectrum allocation and the coal block allocation was nonsense,” Nirupam said.
“In case of the 2G report, after seven years of hearings, the judge said that the CBI has not given any proof of the alleged scam. The report was fake. The coal block allocation report was also fake. Vinod Rai should apologise for these fake reports too, not to me but to the entire country,” he added.
This report has been updated with additional information
(Edited by Sunanda Ranjan)
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