Former Telecom Minister A Raja on Tuesday rejected in a Delhi court CBI’s suggestions that he had “put pressure” on Department of Telecommunications (DoT) officers to process applications seeking 2G spectrum licencesand issue letters of intent (LoIs) in simultaneous manner.
Raja, who is deposing as a witness to defend himself in the ongoing 2G spectrum allocation case trial, told the court that there was no “disagreement” among the DoT officers on the point of issuing LoIs to eligible firms simultaneously.
“It is wrong to suggest that DoT officials were not inclined to process the applications and issue LoIs in simultaneous manner. It is further wrong to suggest that I put pressure on the officers of DoT to process applications and issue LoIs in simultaneous manner through secretary (T) Sidharath Behura and my private secretary R K Chandolia,” Raja told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.
“There was not a single occasion that there was a disagreement amongst the officers either in the note sheet or in the discussions when the decision of simultaneous issuance was taken and Sidharath Behura joined in January 2008, whereas this decision was taken way back in October 2007. As such, the suggestion itself is incorrect and nonest,” he contended.
Raja and others, including Behura and Chandolia, are facing trial in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case. During the cross-examination, the CBI prosecutor told Raja that two officers of DoT, D Jha and R J S Kushvaha, were “transferred deliberately” for not processing the application of Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, one of the accused company, for Delhi service area as per his desires.
Responding to this, Raja said “it is incorrect.” “The internal transfer of officers would take place as per the norms and it would not be put upto me and, as such, I did not have any knowledge of this,” Raja, whose cross-examination remained inconclusive, said
Raja is facing trial in the case along with Behura, DMK MP Kanimozhi, Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, Reliance ADAG executives Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair.
Besides them, Bollywood producer Karim Morani, KalaignarTV Managing Director Sharad Kumar and Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal, are also facing trial in the case.
Besides these 14 accused, three telecom firms– Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd– are also accused in the case.
The court had on October 22, 2011 framed charges against them under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.