Sunday, February 24, 2013
#Upset by ‘blame shifting’ on 2G, Raja wants JPC to hear him#
Points finger at ‘false and incomplete evidence’ by AG
Anxious to give his account of the “role of various individuals and institutions” in the 2G case, the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, who is facing trial for the spectrum scam, has written to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar asking that he be allowed to tender evidence as a witness before the Joint Parliamentary Committee investigating the matter.
As the prime accused, Mr. Raja is the man who knows every little detail about the scam; yet the JPC, which is now well on its way to delivering its final report, is yet to call him as a witness.
In his three-page letter of February 22, 2013, Mr. Raja makes it plain that he is “willing and indeed anxious” to tell the JPC and through it, the nation, “the truth of the matter” which, he believes, is being “suppressed on [the] basis of pre-conceived notions, deliberate bias, faulty investigation and erroneous conclusions aided by a media intent on sensationalism.”
Not stopping at the media, he blames the Supreme Court for including “prejudicial observations” against him without giving him an opportunity to be heard, and the Comptroller and Auditor General for a report that he believes was “replete with errors and adopted a position contrary to the policy of the Cabinet, Parliament and [the] Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.”
Mr. Raja describes the recent testimony of DoT officials and Attorney General (the then Solicitor General) Ghoolam Vahanvati to the JPC as “contrary to the facts of the case and intended to be an exercise in blame shifting.” He argues, “It is vital that the JPC not be misguided by false and incomplete evidence.” Refusing to draw any distinction between himself and the government, he states, “It is obvious that I would be best placed to explain the policy and rationale of the ‘government’ behind the issuance of UAS Licences and grant of spectrum as well as the sequence of events and the role of various individuals and institutions.”
Contrary to the CBI charge sheet, Mr. Raja refuses to accept that he alone — along with just two DoT officials — were responsible for perpetrating the 2G scam.
The Supreme Court, through its two judgments dated March 12, 2010, and February 2, 2012, had declared all of Mr. Raja’s key decisions “arbitrary and capricious” and struck them down as illegal — thus cancelling the 122 licences/spectrum that he had granted. Mr. Raja was accused of favouring companies by placing a cap on the number of licences, contrary to TRAI recommendations by advancing the cut-off date; allocating licences through a first-come-first-served (FCFS) process over transparent auctions and further manipulating the FCFS process to help handpicked companies jump the spectrum queue.
Keywords: 2G spectrum scam, A. Raja, Joint Parliamentary Committee, Meira Kumar, G.E. Vahanvati, JPC
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