Why didn’t Prime Minister set up a GoM, asks Raja
Jailed ex-telecom minister A Raja on Tuesday dragged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh into the 2G scam again, questioning his decision not to refer the issue to a group of ministers (GoM) if he was dissatisfied with the spectrum allocation policy or suspected irregularities. Harish V Nair reports. What else Raja saiddelhi Updated: Jul 27, 2011 02:37 IST
Jailed ex-telecom minister A Raja on Tuesday dragged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh into the 2G scam again, questioning his decision not to refer the issue to a group of ministers (GoM) if he was dissatisfied with the spectrum allocation policy or suspected irregularities.
"By this standard, the Prime Minister too is guilty of conspiracy and dereliction of duty,” Raja told a special court.
Raja created a sensation on Monday by mentioning the PM and the then finance minister, P Chidambaram, in court, saying he had their approval to go ahead with spectrum allocations.
"Is not the PM superior to me? He should have acted immediately if he found irregularity in the policy or was dissatisfied. He should have constituted a GoM. But he did not do so,” Raja’s counsel Sushil Kumar told special judge OP Saini during arguments on the framing of charges.
Admitting to differences between the law and telecom ministries over the allocations, Kumar said, “In such cases, a GoM is set up. But the PM did not see any conflict. He knew what Raja did was right and that is his judgement. Then how (is Raja) to be blamed?”Kumar put the blame on the media for putting words in Raja’s mouth, saying, "(Raja) did not seek to implicate the PM and the then finance minister in the 2G case."
Demanding that Chidambaram be made a witness, Raja said he was privy to dilution of equities by Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless to foreign firms Etisalat and Telenor. "I won’t spare anyone who was party to the decision-making then and later told the CBI that only I (Raja) am the wrongdoer. Let each one of them be arraigned before the court as witnesses," Raja’s lawyer said.
Law minister Salman Khursheed made light of Raja’s arguments. "When lawyers appear for someone, they look for anything possible to help their clients. It is not always that thought is given to what will happen to some other person who is named in this manner," he said.