Coming out in support of CAG Vinod Rai, former officials of the government auditor on Wednesday accused the Congress party and the government of running a campaign against the institution of Comptroller and Auditor General of India.
Supporting the CAG report on 2G spectrum allocation, they said that "the purpose of the campaign against CAG is clearly to cripple the institution permanently".
It is a "deliberate assault and an attempt to damage a crucial pillar of the basic structure of the Constitution," said the statement jointly issued by S Krishnan, S C Anand, Ramaswamy R Iyer, J N Gupta, B P Mathur and R Parameswar, senior retired officers of the Indian Audit and Accounts Service (IAAS).
The statement comes in wake of controversy generated by former Director General of CAG R P Singh who had distanced himself from the report on 2G spectrum allocation, which had talked about a presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore in sale of the telecom airwaves.
"Obviously it is indeed not and cannot be his (Singh's) report. All audit reports are the CAG's reports...The vast organisation under the CAG, including R P Singh, assists the CAG in discharging his constitutional responsibilities, and has no separate existence of its own," the statement said.
Responding to Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari's suggestion for an open debate on the report with Rai, the former officials said once a report has been finalised, signed and submitted to the President, there is no question of the CAG debating it with anyone.
"In fact once the report is submitted and is laid on the table of the House, it becomes the property of Parliament and is not open for debate in any other forum," they said.