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Raja wants to examine PM, then FM & Tele minister as witnesses

August 24
03:34 2011

A Raja

NEW DELHI: Jailed former Telecom Minister A Raja today told a Delhi court that he would get Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, then Finance Minister P Chidambaram and present Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal summoned as witnesses to prove government did not incur any loss in the 2G allocation.

“Aaj main bata dena chahta hu ki main Prime Minister, tabke Finance Minister or vartman ke Telecom Minister ko battor gawah banaunga (Today, I want to state that I would get the Prime Minister, the then Finance Minister and the present Telecom Minister summoned as witnesses),” Senior Advocate Sushil Kumar, appearing for Raja, told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

The moment it is established that there was no loss to the state exchequer, the whole case of cheating and conspiracy in the spectrum allocation will go, he said, claiming that the Prime Minister and two other ministers would be able to establish that.

He said Raja would move an application under section 91 of the CrPC for getting certain documents from the CBI which had so far not been brought before the court.

The defense counsel also raised the issue of offloading of equity by Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd and Unitech (Tamil Nadu) Wireless Pvt Ltd to Dubai-based Etisalat and Norway-based Telenor respectively and maintained that there was no criminality involved in those transactions.

“First of all there was no sale of licenses, then the offloading of equities was within the limit of 74 per cent.

Moreover, the transactions were cleared at the highest level (the Foreign Investment Promotion Board),” he said.

Without naming any corporate house, Sushil Kumar alleged that Raja has been made to pay the price for annoying big players in the telecom sector.

The defense counsel sought to demolish the CBI allegation about Raja taking bribe by contending that the agency should explain as to why a minister would take bribe in installments, through cheques and that too in the form of a loan.

The counsel was referring to the CBI allegation that the DMK-run Kalaignar TV took Rs 200 crore as bribe through various firms of Shahid Usman Balwa, the alleged beneficiary of the scam.

Raja counsel also alleged that so far as other companies like Unitech and Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) were concerned, the CBI has failed to establish “any motive or consideration” for grant of license.

“There is no quid pro quo vis-a-vis Unitech. The CBI has nothing to show as to what motive or reward I had for granting UAS license to Unitech.

“So far as Reliance Telecom Ltd and its three officials are concerned, no material has been brought on record as to what motive I had. Even the CBI does not say anything against RTL as to what it earned,” the defense counsel said.

He also alleged that even if the loss theory of the CBI is assumed to be correct, then why only two companies, Swan Telecom and Unitech, are before this court.

He contended that the CBI which seized documents pertaining to Loop Telecom, Spice Communications, Idea Cellular and other firms, has not decided about its future course of action.

“How many trials would I be facing as for last two years the CBI has failed to decide the fate of the seized documents pertaining to other telecom companies,” he said.

Kumar was advancing additional arguments against framing of charges on behalf of A Raja. -PTI



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