Former telecom ministerA Raja took his fate into his own hands by arguing his own case and whipped up a fresh storm by accusing attorney general GE Vahanvati of approving key policy changes related to awarding new mobile licences in 2008.
Raja’s counsel Sushil Kumar, for the second consecutive day, pointed fingers at prime ministerManmohan Singh and alleged that the PM and former finance minister P Chidambaram knew and approved of his (Raja’s) polices.
Hours after he told theCBI special court that he was not seeking to ‘implicate the PM in the 2G case, Kumar in a sensational turnaround alleged that Manmohan Singh could be held guilty of “conspiracy” and dereliction of duty for not forming a Group of Ministers to examine the spectrum allocation issue.
“Just because he (Prime Minister) ignored it, no GoM (Group of Ministers) was constituted. By that standard, prime minister was also in conspiracy so far as dereliction of duty is concerned. It was his (PM’s) judgment that GoM was not required,” Kumar said.
Thefederal investigating agency, in its chargesheet, had accused Raja of not heeding to the law ministry’s opinion that the Group of Ministers finalise all policy issues related to granting mobile permits to new entrants.
Kumar also told the special court that the prime minister did not appoint a Group of Ministers since he (Manmohan Singh) did not see any conflict of interest.
“The prime minister is superior to me and he could have constituted the GoM,” Kumar argued.
Raja, who argued his own case for part of the day in the afternoon, accused GE Vahanvati of jumping sides and being a witness in the case and argued that the attorney general had approved all key policy changes, including the controversial move to advance the cut off date for new mobile permits to September 25, 2007, retrospectively.
The former minister who has been charged with changing the cut off date retrospectively said that the move had the blessings of the then solicitor general Ghulam Vahnvati.
“The SG at that time, Ghulam Vahanvati, had approved press release (announcing the September 25 cut off). The first come first served policy (which was changed to first come first pay) was also approved by him,” his counsel Kumar added. Economic Times