New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office responded Saturday to the Supreme Court’s hard line of questioning earlier this week by filing an 11-page affidavit in the 2G spectrum case.
The document, filed by V. Vidyavati, a director in Dr. Singh’s office, asserts at the outset that all the letters received against A. Raja were “duly considered.” It does not, however, directly take on the court’s main question - why the PM did not act sooner on the complaint - as the director uses a disclaimer saying, “I am advised to restrict this Affidavit to the factual position.”
The PM received 6 letters from Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy from 29 November 2008 to 13 March this year, before eventually responding to Swamy after 16 months on 19 March.
The letters were sent to the ministry of law and justice 5 months after the first one arrived. The law ministry, headed by Veerappa Moily, replied to the PMO after 9 months - on 8 February this year - saying that the decision to give Swamy permission to have Raja prosecuted could be taken only after “the perusal of the evidence” from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is investigating the case.
The PMO then asked the law ministry to respond to Swamy, but the ministry declined to do so on 4 March saying that it was “only an advisory body to tender legal advice” and that it was “not administratively concerned with the accord of sanction.”
Instead it suggested that the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) be requested to send Swamy a letter on the PM’s behalf. The DoPT was told to do the same on 18 March and the response to Swamy was sent out on 19 March.
There are several other dates mentioned in the affidavit which show how Swamy’s requests to the PM were sent to various officials, including the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), which is the office being held responsible for the controversial 2G spectrum allottment.
Swamy’s case will come up for hearing on Tuesday, while a related matter - which asks for the apex court to monitor the CBI investigation - will be heard Monday.