Raja committed offence in active connivance with Chidambaram: Swamy (Roundup)

December 17th, 2011 - 9:13 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, Dec 17 (IANS) Seeking to make Home Minister P. Chidambaram a party to the 2G spectrum scam, Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy Saturday told a special court that former telecom minister A. Raja committed the offence in “active connivance” with Chidambaram, the then finance minister.

Deposing in support of his contention of Chidambaram’s alleged complicity in the 2G spectrum scam, Swamy said: “Former telecom minister A. Raja could not be guilty of this charge alone but committed the offence in active connivance with Chidambaram, presently home minister.”

“The prime minister’s speech delivered on the floor of parliament in February clearly proves that the pricing of the spectrum was taken on the basis of cabinet decisions of 2003, which specifically left the issue to be determined by the finance minister and DoT (department of telecommunications),” Swamy told Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge O.P. Saini.

Chidambaram was the finance minister in the first United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government from 2004-09 when the spectrum saga began.

“Former telecom minister A. Raja could not be guilty of this charge alone but committed the offence with active connivance with Chidambaram, presently home minister,” Swamy said.

Swamy sought to make Chidambaram a party in the case, saying the decision on spectrum pricing was taken in 2008 jointly by him and Raja, now lodged in Tihar Jail since Feb 2.

“Chidambaram and Raja were empowered by the 2003 cabinet decision to determine the spectrum price jointly,” said Swamy.

“Chidambaram was aware at least one day before what Raja was planning to do in selling the spectrum,” he added.

He told the court that Chidambaram informed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the finance ministry and DoT would discuss and finalise the spectrum pricing formula.

Chidambaram and Raja met on four occasions. The two met the prime minister July 4, 2008, and conveyed to him the message of agreement on the price fixed for spectrum and other aspects, including entry fee charges of spectrum and revenue shares.

He said Chidambaram and Raja were equally guilty of recommending spectrum prices based on 2001 rates.

Swamy alleged that despite being ineligible, Unitech Wireless and Swan Telecom were awarded licences.

“Swan and Unitech were allowed to offload their shares to Etisalat and Telenor, respectively, even before the roll-out, selling their shares at several times of what they paid to the government for the licence,” said Swamy.

Swamy submitted three documents for seeking prosecution of Chidambaram. These included evidence extracted from a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report and other sources.

As Swamy sought some time to bring more documents related to the scam, the court adjourned the matter till Jan 7, 2012.

Raja was the first one to be arrested in the scam. The DMK leader is among the 14 people, including corporate honchos, who have been arrested in the scam. Kanimozhi, a DMK Rajya Sabha MP and daughter of former Tamil Nadu chief minister K. Karunanidhi, was also arrested in connection with the scandal.

The Janata Party president also sought to examine CBI officials “to establish the nexus of accused persons with others who have intentionally not been made accused by the prosecuting agency”.

On Oct 10, the Supreme Court reserved its order on a plea for a probe into Chidambaram’s alleged role in the scam.

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