Former telecom minister A. Raja. Photo: AFP
Former telecom minister A. Raja. Photo: AFP

2G scam: CBI says A. Raja misled Manmohan Singh on policy matters

Public prosecutor says Raja, in conspiracy with other accused, had advanced the cut-off date to favour accused firms in allocation of licences

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday argued before a special court that former telecom minister A. Raja had “misled" the then prime minister Manmohan Singh on policy matters pertaining to allocation of 2G spectrum.

Commencing final arguments in the case, special public prosecutor Anand Grover said that Raja, in conspiracy with other accused, had advanced the cut-off date to favour accused firms in allocation of 2G licences.

Grover argued that Raja had granted spectrum to “ineligible" companies such as Swan Telecom Pvt. Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd. He said that the first-come-first-serve (FCFS) policy was changed to favour some of the accused and Raja even rejected the proposal of the then law minister who had proposed that some of the key policy issues be referred to the empowered group of ministers.

Referring to the letters written by Raja on 2 November 2007 to the then prime minister, Grover said, “He (Raja), infact, misled him (Manmohan Singh) on FCFS and cut-off date."

“Curious things happened in DoT (department of telecommunication) which showed that this (change in FCFS policy) was deliberately done to favour the accused," the prosecutor said.

Grover also argued that Raja had changed the cut-off date for receiving applications by the companies for grant of 2G licences to favour accused firms, particularly Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd. On the issue of grant of licence to ineligible companies, the agency said that accused firm Swan Telecom was ineligible on the date of application for grant of radio waves as it was “actually owned by Tiger Traders Pvt Ltd through Reliance ADAG".

The final arguments in the case would continue on 25 May, the next date of hearing. The case pertains to the 2G spectrum allocation in which Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and 15 others including some top company executives are facing trial. The recording of evidence in the case had started on 11 November 2011, after the court had framed charges against the 17 accused named in the first two charge sheets filed by the agency. In its chargesheet, CBI had alleged that there was a loss of 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on 2 February 2012.

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