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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

JPC report on 2G scam 'half-baked', says A Raja

PTI  New Delhi, November 06, 2013
First Published: 21:49 IST(6/11/2013) | Last Updated: 22:04 IST(6/11/2013)

Peeved at non-inclusion of his written submission in the JPC report on 2G, former telecom minister and main accused in the scam A Raja has termed it as "half-baked" and urged Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to return it to the Committee chairman.

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In a letter to the Speaker, Raja has urged her to direct JPC chief PC Chacko to include his submission in the report as its non-inclusion was an act of "cowardice" to prevent truth from coming out.

Raja, who has been alleging that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was in the loop over policy decisions, has accused Chacko of adopting a "partisan" attitude.

The report submitted to the Speaker on October 29 had given a clean chit to the Prime Minister and finance minister P Chidambaram saying Raja had "misled" Singh.

Opposition BJP, BJD, CPI, CPI-M, Trianammol Congress, AIADMK and DMK had submitted their dissent notes.

Raja said the JPC report "was more political than parliamentarian in character".

He said despite several requests by him and other JPC members, he was not allowed to appear as a witness though he was "best placed" to explain the policy and rationale of the government behind the issuance of Universal Access Service (UAS) licences and grant of spectrum.

He said after being denied opportunity to appear personally, he made a written deposition before the JPC and his views were quoted by BJP and DMK in their dissent notes.

After submitting the report, Chacko had told reporters that Raja's opinion was not made part of the report.

"But when we reached conclusion, Raja's note was also quoted in that. His note was analysed by the committee before we arrived at conclusions," Chacko had said.

Raja said Chacko's claim that his submission was taken note of while drawing conclusions is "as good as saying that the truth will remain forever buried, rather than being made accessible to all".

He alleged that the chairman did not put his submission to proper discussion during any of the meetings of the 30-member panel.

"The result is that the facts I have stated have not been contradicted or refuted by the JPC. This has led to a strange situation where there is no finality to the factual issues that the JPC was supposed to enquire into," the former telecom minister wrote.

The JPC report also rubbishes the loss figure of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore estimated by CAG, saying it was "ill-conceived".

The report, which delved into the period between 1998 and 2009, will be tabled in Parliament in the Winter Session likely to commence in the first week of December.

The report, which was adopted by majority vote on September 27 in the absence of two JD(U) members, also accuses Raja of forging the press note of January 7, 2008, after it was seen by the then solicitor general GE Vahanvati.

While giving sequence of events leading to allocation of 2G spectrum, it says, "the Committee are inclined to conclude that the Prime Minister was misled about the procedure decided to be followed by the Department of Telecommunications in respect of issuance of UAS licences.

"Further, the assurance given by the Minister of Communications and Information Technology (Raja) in all his correspondence with the Prime Minister to maintain full transparency in following established rules and procedures of the Department stood belied."

It has also questioned NDA's decision to grant concessions to telecom companies on licence fee despite protests by then telecom minister Jagmohan and says the then government had to "forego" over Rs. 42,000 crore in offering Migration Package to cellular operators.

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