Raja admits error but blames cartel for 2G scam

DMK leader A Raja today told a court he had made an "error of judgment" in granting of 2G licences and alleged that a cartel of telecom players were behind his ordeal as they wanted to put spokes on the entry of new telecom companies in the sector.
File-photo-of-former-telecom-minister-A-Raja-during-an-interview-with-Hindustan-Times
File-photo-of-former-telecom-minister-A-Raja-during-an-interview-with-Hindustan-Times
Updated on Jul 26, 2011 02:41 PM IST
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PTI | By, New Delhi

Former Telecom Minister A Raja today alleged in a Delhi court that a cartel of telecom players were behind his ordeal as they wanted to put spokes on the entry of new telecom companies in the sector.

"Behind this (his ordeal), there is cartel of some operators which does not want new operators to come in existence. My only sin was that I opened the floodgates (for the operators)," Raja's counsel Sushil Kumar submitted before Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

The DMK MP pleaded that after he took over as Telecom Minister in 2007, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended that there would be no cap on the number of applicants for the spectrum licences and I acted in accordance with that.

This opened the flood gates as the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) received 575 applications for the allotment of 2G licences, Raja said adding he placed a cap at 232 applications.

He said he might have made a mistake by putting a cap on the number of applicants, terming it as an "error of judgement" and not a crime.

"Every signature that I (Raja) put on the files was discharge of my official duty," Kumar said adding "does that mean every line I drew in this case is a conspiracy?"

He contended the way this case was going on, the country's economy will suffer a lot.

"No one from the foreign country would come to invest in India due to such a false case. We are ruining the economy of the country," he said.

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