The 2G spectrum allocation scam, involving Telecommunications Minister A Raja surfaced once again on Wednesday, leading to noisy scenes in both Houses of Parliament.
The spark was provided by a newspaper report that said the CBI had "clinching evidence", provided by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) of a high-profile public relations lobbyist being in regular touch with Raja, even as one of her clients was the main beneficiary of the 2G spectrum allocation. The AIADMK, BJP and the Left parties were up in arms, leading to Lok Sabha being adjourned once and Rajya Sabha twice.
Later in the evening, the CBDT issued a denial, claiming it had not recorded any of the telephone conversations the newspaper had alleged.
"It is further clarified that the Income Tax department does not intercept telephonic conversations except as authorised under the law. The provision is used in rare and exceptional cases of suspected tax fraud and evasion involving security of the state."
As soon as both Houses assembled for the day, AIADMK and Left members rushed to the well in the Lok Sabha displaying copies of the report.
In the Rajya Sabha, the leader of the opposition Arun Jaitley noted that on an earlier occasion the previous week, Home Minister P Chidambaram had made a statement in the House saying his ministry had not authorised any telephone tapping of politicians.
"However, after going through today's media reports it seems that it (tapping) is very much authorised and contents of conversations too are easily available," Jaitley said.