There seems to be no end to the controversy surrounding the law ministry's handling of the ongoing 2G spectrum case in the Supreme Court. The Attorney General (AG) is now facing questions about conflict of interest following his controversial opinion to the former telecom minister A Raja in December 2007.
Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy, who has approached the apex court seeking sanction for prosecution of Raja, said on Friday he would object to AG Ghulam Vahanvati's appearance in the court if he has anything to do with the spectrum scam.
The government has asked Vahanvati to represent the Prime Minister when the case comes up for hearing on Tuesday. "If Vahanvati pleads for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, then I have no problem. But if he speaks on spectrum then it is a violation of law," Swamy said.
"Raja had written a letter to PM on December 26, 2007 saying that he got the advice from the Solicitor General, which was Vahanvati then," he said.
Swamy said according to the rules governing the law officers, the Solicitor General cannot render advice unless law ministry had asked for it. There is no record in the law ministry to prove that Vahanvati had been authorised to give an opinion in the matter.
Vahanvati, who has consistently denied having given any opinion to Raja on the 2G spectrum allocation, maintained that he had only represented the department of telecom before the Delhi high court and the telecom tribunal. "Whatever I did was in purely professional capacity," the AG was quoted by CNN-IBN news channel.
Law minister M Veerappa Moily declined to comment on the issue, but said it was incorrect to say that the government had changed its legal team in the Supreme Court.
He said Vahanvati has been asked to appear for the Prime Minister to ensure that he was "properly" represented.
"There is no change in government representation...the Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium will represent the department of telecommunications while additional solicitor general Haren Raval will represent the CBI as they are separate entities," Moily said.