Raja puts Vahanvati in a spot
Former telecom minister A Raja on Tuesday put attorney general GE Vahanvati in a spot, saying he only followed his advice as the then Solicitor General (SG) in the allocation of 2G spectrum licences.delhi Updated: Jul 27, 2011 02:25 IST
Former telecom minister A Raja on Tuesday put attorney general GE Vahanvati in a spot, saying he only followed his advice as the then Solicitor General (SG) in the allocation of 2G spectrum licences.
It was Vahanvati who, as the then solicitor general, had approved the draft press release by which the firms that complied with the terms of the Letters of Intent first got away with the 2G licences, Raja's counsel Sushil Kumar told Special Judge OP Saini during arguments on charge."The SG (Vahanvati) had approved that the applicant who fulfills the condition of the Letter of Intent first gets licence first and in pursuance of this, four counters were set up to ensure that who comes first at the counter with all the drafts etc ready will get the licence. I followed his advice and landed in jail. He is enjoying office outside," Kumar said.
When contacted, Vahanvati told HT: "I will not respond to any allegations leveled by an accused." The alleged tampering with the First-Come-First Served policy compromised with the seniority list as the firms, which applied first, were left out, as they could not fulfill with terms of the LoI.
Raja is accused of making changes in the press release by which the FCFS policy got "distorted" and as the result, companies such as Tata Teleservices and Spice Communication were left out despite the fact that they were ahead of Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Private Ltd in the seniority list.
"Will the top law officer of the country let it go if a minister makes changes in his advice?...He had been making money for the last three years by appearing at various judicial fora in matters relating to the 2G allocation. He became attorney general from the SG. He became wise only after three years," Raja, who himself argued the case briefly, said.
"I am in jail and everybody is out. It is injustice", Kumar said, adding, the CBI has deliberately made Vahanvati a prosecution witness.