Distancing himself from former communications minister A. Raja, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura on Wednesday told a Delhi court hearing the 2G spectrum allocation case that he had no role in changing the policy to favour anyone.
"All the key policy decisions pertaining to the 2G spectrum allocation were taken by Raja and other senior officials much before he (Behura) joined the department on Jan 1, 2008," Behura's defence counsel Aman Lekhi told Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Judge OP Saini.
Lekhi attacked Behura's predecessor and former secretary A K Srivastava and said: “It was Srivastava who helped in formulating the policies. He had a chance to oppose but he chose not to. I (Behura) joined as secretary much after the formulation process of the policy was completed.”
He added that Srivastava was listed as a prime witness in the case even when his role in the conspiracy was clear while Behura who was just performing his duties was made an accused.
Stressing the point that Behura was just performing his duties as a civil servant, Lekhi added: “It was not an individual who was in action. The whole government machinery was in the picture. Then why Behura is being charged for the duties he was supposed to do.”
Chalking out the reason behind the revenue loss, the counsel said that the loss took place because of the policy of the central government and not because of Swan Telecom, a spectrum applicant.
Lekhi accused the CBI of not working seriously. “The CBI is lacking seriousness. There is nothing tangible on record to drive me (Behura) as an accused. As it is a big case, just to show their hard work they have framed the charges against me.”
The court asked the CBI to file its reply on the submissions but the agency sought a day's time.
The judge posted the matter for May 26.
The CBI opposed the bail plea of Behura on the ground that he played a key role in the conspiracy to favour Swan Telecom by first awarding it a telecom licence and then allocating spectrum in the Delhi circle in an “unfair, unjust and arbitrary” manner, which deprived the legitimate claims of Tata Tele Services Ltd.
Opposing his bail plea, it added that Behura could tamper with evidences if released on bail.
“Behura had worked as secretary and is an influential person. There is every likelihood of tampering with the prosecution evidence and winning over or threatening of witnesses. It is apprehended that he may abscond to avoid the trial proceedings,” the agency said.
Lekhi vehemently opposed the submissions saying “the apprehensions are misplaced”.
Behura, presently in judicial custody, filed the bail application May 12. He was arrested Feb 2.