Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

2G scam: Didn’t take any unilateral decision, took PM concurrence, Raja tells court

A Raja at the Patiala House Court Monday.  PRAVEEN KHANNA A Raja at the Patiala House Court Monday. PRAVEEN KHANNA
Written by Shalini Narayan | New Delhi | Posted: May 6, 2014 12:46 am | Updated: May 6, 2014 8:02 am

Former telecom minister A Raja, a key accused facing trial in the 2G spectrum scam, Monday told a special CBI court that none of his decisions was unilateral and that he acted “after properly apprising the Prime Minister and taking his concurrence”.

“I did not take any unilateral decision, but acted on the proposals of DoT and discussions with other Cabinet ministers and the then solicitor general and after properly apprising the Prime Minister and taking his concurrence. My actions do not amount to abuse of official position or any other offence,” Raja told special CBI judge O P Saini.

In all, the court posed 1,718 questions to Raja.

Raja said monitoring of 2G scam probe by the Supreme Court led the CBI to investigate the case in a “predetermined manner” and there was no loss to the exchequer as claimed by the agency.

He also told the court that the “flawed” CAG report made the whole issue “sensational without even taking into account the views of DoT and without properly appreciating government policy and procedure”. Raja, who was recording his statement, also said there was complete ignorance of policy formation and government functioning by the investigating officers and that he was not given an opportunity of hearing by the Supreme Court.

“The monitoring of the investigation by the Supreme Court led to the CBI investigating the case in a predetermined manner and fabricating oral evidence, since there was no documentary evidence to support the prosecution. Adverse media publicity also contributed to the case against me,” Raja said.

Raja also told the court that prosecution witnesses had deposed against him “for fear of being made accused in the case”. He claimed there was a cartel among old GSM operators and their interests would have been seriously affected by the entry of new operators which would have led to tariff reduction.

He told the court that he had acted as per recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and had increased competition in the market.

He said there was a “disagreement” among different arms of the government on key issues such as New Telecom Policy-99, Cabinet decision of 2003, UASL guidelines, the Indian Telegraph Act, the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act and various TRAI recommendations till 2010.

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