New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister A Raja today denied in a Delhi court CBI’s suggestions that he had kept then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the dark about the decisions taken by Department of Telecommunications (DoT) regarding allocation of 2G spectrum licences.
Deposing as a witness to defend himself in the ongoing 2G case trial, Raja told the court that he had met Singh and apprised him about the decisions taken in the DoT on the issue.
“It is incorrect. I apprised the Prime Minister of the facts by my letter dated November 2, 2007. Thereafter, a letter was received by me from the Prime Minister on the same day. This letter was also replied to by me on the same day.
“After this exchange of letters, I met the Prime Minister and apprised him of all the decisions taken, which were referred in the letters and I handed over a folder also to him,” Raja told Special CBI Judge O P Saini during his cross examination by the CBI prosecutor.
Raja also denied CBI’s suggestions that he had written a letter to the PM on November 2, 2007 to avoid reference of the matter relating to allocation of 2G licences to the empowered group of minister (EGoM).
“It is wrong to suggest that I wrote the letter dated November 2, 2007 to hush up the matter and to avoid reference of the matter to EGoM,” he said.
On being asked about another letter written by him to PM on November 2, 2007, Raja said, “he (PM) had been misguided by vested interests, so I sent the letter immediately to avoid further confusion in this regard.”
During cross-examination, the CBI prosecutor asked Raja, “were these two letters of November 2, 2007 written by you to the Prime Minister taken on the record of DoT in any of the files?”
Responding to this, Raja said, “It is not necessary that all letters written by a minister to the Prime Minister must be reflected in the file notings of the department. What is important and relevant is that the contents of the letter to the Prime Minister must reflect the existing position of the department.”
“However, I am not able to recollect now if the copies of these two letters were sent to the department or not for their placing in the files,” Raja, whose cross-examination would continue, said.
Raja is facing trial in the case along with former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura, DMK MP Kanimozhi, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, Reliance ADAG executives Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair.
Besides them, Bollywood producer Karim Morani, Kalaignar TV Managing Director Sharad Kumar and Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, are also facing trial in the case.
Besides these 14 accused, three telecom firms– Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd– are also accused in the case.
The court had on October 22, 2011 framed charges against them under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.