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Chidambaram must testify in 2G case: Raja

After embarrassing the Prime Minister and Finance minister P Chidambaram with his dramatic courtroom allegations in the 2G scam, former Telecom Minister A Raja softened his stance on Tuesday saying he had been misquoted by the media.

July 26, 2011 / 05:23 PM IST

After embarrassing the Prime Minister and Finance minister P Chidambaram with his dramatic courtroom allegations in the 2G scam, former Telecom Minister A Raja softened his stance on Tuesday saying he had been misquoted by the media.


Raja said that Home Minister P Chidambaram, who was Finance Minister at that time should be made a witness.


Raja said he didn't implicate the Prime Minister and P Chidambaram in the 2G case. He blamed the media for putting words in his mouth.


However, after his u-turn, Raja dragged in the Prime Minister again saying he sent back the 2G file to the Prime Minister and that the Prime Minister could have called for a GoM if he saw any conflict.


"I did not seek to implicate the Prime Minister and the then Finance Minister in 2G case," said Raja on Tuesday.


Raja termed his judicial custody as illegal detention and sought 'forthwith release'.


Defending himself, Raja also took on Attorney General GE Vahanvati personally. Raja said, "When the Attorney General gave the opinion that there is nothing wrong with cut off and the simultaneous issuance of license, he accepted the legitimacy of both these issues."


He said Vahanvanti had no right to say that the person who complained first will have to wait for data.


He said that if he committed a procedural error by not maintaining data records, the same crime has been committed by Arun Shourie also.


On Monday, Raja told the court that Chidambaram who was then finance minister defended sale of equity by Swan and Unitech and that the Prime Minister knew of it.


Initiating the arguments on framing of charges, the counsel for Raja on Monday had claimed that the issue of sale of equity by spectrum licencee telecom firms was discussed with the Prime Minister and the then Finance Minister.


The counsel for Raja on Tuesday started his arguments seeking to record his reservation on the media reports. "I am defending myself and not accusing anything against anybody. I am not after anybody," he said.


In the USA, the court proceedings are telecasted and the whole nation watches them to avoid such a situation, he said. Referring to the charge sheet, the senior advocate said the sanction to prosecute the former Telecom Minister was flawed.


Raja, defending himself against corruption charges in 2G scam, had on Monday submitted before the court that there was nothing wrong in his decision of not auctioning 2G spectrum and he was merely following the policies pursued by his predecessors and the NDA government.


Counsel for Raja had said that when Chidambaram was the Finance Minister he had told the Prime Minister that dilution of shares by the accused licencees to attract FDI did not amount to sale of licence.


Arguing that dilution of shares was not sale of licence, Kumar said Raja cannot be accused of corruption in the controversial 2G spectrum allocation. "The matter (about sale of equity by spectrum licencees) was discussed between the Prime Minister and the then Finance Minister (P Chidambaram).


"The then Finance Minister, who is now Home Minister, had said in front of the Prime Minister that dilution of shares does not amount to sale of 2G licence as per the corporate law," Sushil had asserted, adding, "Let the Prime Minister deny this."


He also trained his guns on the Tatas again highlighting that among the total loss of Rs 22,000 crore, Ratan Tata himself earned Rs 14,000 crore.


Raja's lawyer targets judge


In an unprecedented move, A Raja's lawyer trained his guns on the judge saying that he has taken too much time to just scrutinise the documents.


He also targeted the CAG in court saying his report on 2G is worthless.


The lawyer called the CAG a legally illiterate accountant


Questioning the Supreme Court judge, Raja's lawyer Sushil Kumar said, "You get a salary just to hear this case. I have to move around for other cases too? Do I have to wind up my practice and just sit before you day after day? This is a highly unfair trial. You took six months just to finish scrutiny of documents. How can any other court tell you what to do?"


Calling Raja's acts an error of judgement, Kumar said, "If anything at all, Raja made an error of judgement in giving license to these companies and any human being in entitled to make an error."

With additional information from PTI

first published: Jul 26, 2011 03:52 pm

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