New Delhi: A Raja, former Telecom Minister and prime accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case on Saturday created a flutter by making a strong pitch to appear before the JPC as a witness claiming he has been "condemned unheard".
Raja's request to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar comes days after Attorney General G E Vahanvati blamed him for various issues before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC).
He has also been blamed for the 2G scam by other witnesses before the special CBI court.
"The truth of the matter is being suppressed on the basis of preconceived notions, deliberate bias, faulty investigation and erroneous conclusions.
"...Perhaps the most telling example of this situation is the judgement of the Hon'ble Supreme Court dated 02.02.2012, where specific and prejudicial observations were made against me without giving me a hearing," Raja wrote in the letter.
Raja's request has come when the three-month-long Budget session has just commenced.
There was no immediate reaction of JPC Chairman P C Chacko to the request of Raja, who had been in Tihar jail for several months in the 2G issue before being granted bail.
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi steered clear of the issue while an AIADMK leader said it was a fight between DMK and Congress and his party would not get into it.
Raja, a leader of the DMK, met Kumar at her office yesterday and handed over a letter expressing his willingness to appear as a witness before the committee.
He has sent a copy of the letter to Chacko.
Raja said while he has the "fullest respect" for the court, "the fact remains that I have been condemned unheard."
DMK members in JPC T R Baalu and T Siva had been pressing Chacko to call Raja as a witness.
They also demanded calling Vahanvati again before the panel after he told JPC earlier this month that the controversial press note regarding 2G licences was changed at the last minute by Raja in 2008 with a different pen.
Vahanvati was then the Solicitor General.
Chacko is apparently against calling Raja as a witness. He has told members that as an accused Raja has legal protection and cannot make fresh revelations before any committee. Therefore, there was no point in calling Raja.
But Chacko is yet to take a final call on the issue.
"If Raja is to be called, he will be the last witness. If DMK agrees on not calling him, then we have concluded calling witnesses before JPC and we would focus on writing the report," Chacko had recently said.
Parliament sources said the Speaker cannot direct any committee to call a person as a witness. In this case, Kumar can forward Raja's letter to Chacko.
First Published: Saturday, February 23, 2013, 14:22