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Press Note on 2G spectrum changed at the last minute: Vahanvati

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 19:40

New Delhi: The controversial press note regarding 2G licences was changed at the last minute by then Telecom Minister A Raja in 2008 with a different pen, former Solicitor General G E Vahanvati told JPC Tuesday, contending that his trust had been betrayed in the process.

Vahanvati, who was Solicitor General in 2008 and is now Attorney General, denied there had been discussions with him as claimed by Raja about his going ahead with "preemptive and proactive" decisions in a letter.

Vahanvati also told the Joint Parliamentary Committee on 2G scam that the changes in the first-come, first-served policy were never discussed with him and he had nothing to do with issue of 2G spectrum licences.

Vahanvati appeared before JPC as he was the Solicitor General when 122 second generation spectrum licenses were issued and he had appeared for certain cases on behalf of DoT in various courts including telecom tribunal TDSAT.

In reply to a query by members, Vahanvati said he had concurred with the draft press note on the issuance of licences shown to him by the then Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura on January 7, 2008 carrying four paragraphs.

He said he was not aware of the amendments to the press release at a later stage.
"In fact, noting by the minister (the then Telecom minister A Raja) 'press release approved as amended' was added subsequently, that too with a different pen," JPC chief P C Chacko quoting Vahanvati said after the meeting.

The release was subsequently issued on January 10.

According to Vahanvati, a paragraph dealing with tie between two companies, which achieve certain criteria in getting licence, was later deleted.


First Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - 19:40
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