Monday, October 31, 2011

Trysts with MSM - Part 18 - CAG and 2G scam

MSM stands for Main Stream Media

The series returns back after a long time :) The delay is not because I have stopped asking them questions. The delay is because they have stopped responding to those questions!

CNN-IBN's National Bureau Chief, Bhupendra Chaubey tweeted about his show on Ra.One and said that he was getting lots of feedback. So I asked him if he ever responded to feedback. He replied this:

@ssudhirkumar I used to respond a lot to u, then stopped because u started indulging in destructive criticism, m all for constructive points

The "destructive criticism" he was talking about is here. Anyways, about the same time he also tweets about this "breaking story"

Breaking at 6: CAG's can of worms, its getting murkier, fresh details accessed by me show that there was no consensus on the 2G report

So I ask him back :

Was there ALWAYS consensus at your work place on what to report? @bhupendrachaube ofcourse, you wont answer this Q.

To which he replies:

@ssudhirkumar lack bof consensus if different from allegations of coersion, of course u won't understand this

What he meant was "lack of consensus is different from allegations of coercion, of course u won't understand this"

Well, he first said "lack of consensus" and my question was based on that observation. He then changes the point to "allegations of coercion". I asked him back about this inconsistency. Ofcourse, no reply.

Let's take a quick look at his "breaking news". Here is the report on IBN website -

First off, Bhupendra fails to mention that CAG gave a total of 4 estimates of losses. The range is Rs. 57,000 crore to Rs. 1,76,000 crore. Check this report of the CAG available on their website. The last page of the "Executive Summary" section (just before Introduction) gives us the the table of how the 4 estimates were arrived at. And the entire report explains in detail how the numbers were arrived at. But our news channels are content with just mentioning the upper limit.

The scoop by Bhupendra Chaube is that the Deputy CAG has written to the lead auditor, R.P.Singh (who signed the above report) saying that they are not happy with the way the audit is being conducted. The lead auditor replied back in a 2-page note (quite interestingly, the full letter is not yet available to the viewer. I asked them, but as usual no reply). What we have is only a quote from that letter wherein the lead auditor is hurt at the accusation that he is not properly auditing.

Nowhere in the whole report by Bhupendra, is there one proof of the lead auditor being told to toe the CAG line. Nowhere in the letter is it shown that the lead auditor was asked to sign off on the Rs.1,76,000 crore amount. But then, for our national news channels, these facts matter little. There has been a disagreement, and therefore that is huge news for them. In which institution are there no disagreements? How many times have we disagreed with our bosses?

Now here comes the interesting part. "Ex-CAG babu stands by 2G loss figure" in the Times of India. The lead auditor wrote to the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament of India, saying he did sign the final document.

"While indicating that he did not intend to support attempts to question the CAG findings, Singh told the panel he had signed the final report. He has denied reports quoting him as questioning Rai's decision to go ahead with assessing presumptive losses ranging from Rs 65,000 crore to Rs 1.76 lakh crore"

Read that full report. Now guess which channel didn't report this rebuttal by the lead Auditor. CNN-IBN !


Rising Gladiator said...

Bhupendra Chaube doesnt deserve to be scrutinized - he is sherleck homes of our News Media Industry :P

prashhanthkpp said...

Sudhirji, you have undressed Bhupendra Cahube here without leaving him even his underwear to hide his shame! Well, shameless guys in the immoral paid media is what the ranks of Bhupendra fits in. Excellent rebuttal.....but again, will go without methodical examination or responsible Q&A!

Abhijeet said...

I wonder how can these crooked reporters sustain in this era of internet. Can't people see their obvious motives?

Post a Comment