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2G case: Behura names RBI Governor

Jailed former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura dragged RBI Governor D Subbarao in the 2G case accusing him of not revising the spectrum licence fee.



New Delhi: Jailed former Telecom Secretary
Siddhartha Behura on Wednesday dragged RBI Governor D Subbarao in the
2G case accusing him of not revising the spectrum licence fee
and claimed he had no role to play except implementing the
government`s policy.

Behura`s submission before a court targeting the former
Finance Secretary reflected the trend of the 2G scam accused
naming top leaders and officials after former Telecom Minister
A Raja named Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P
Chidambaram and Attorney General G E Vahanvati over the last
two days.

Opposing the framing of charges of corruption and
other penal offences against him in the case, Behura told the
Special CBI judge O P Saini that Subbarao had decided against
revising the entry fee of Rs 1,659 crore for 2G licence and if
he is not an accused in this case, he (Behura) too should not
have been put on trial.

"Subbarao finalised the decision taken in the meeting
of December 4, 2007 that the policy stood approved and the
entry fees (of Rs 1,659 crore fixed in 2001 during NDA`s
regime) need not be revised," Behura`s counsel Aman Lekhi told
the court. Behura is behind bars for the past six months.

"Even the Finance Minister (then P Chidambaram) was
also present in the meeting (held on December 4, 2007). If
Subbarao, who was part of the Finance Ministry, did commit no
wrong, how come I did it.

Going by the same principle, if I have been made an
accused then Subbarao should also be made an accused," he
said.

The former bureaucrat defended himself against the
charges against him, saying the acts done by him were in
pursuance of the government policy and he did not commit any
wrong that caused a loss to the exchequer.

Asserting that there was "not an iota of evidence"
against him, Behura said he was only a civil servant who had
no role to play except implementing the government`s policy.

Behura told the court that "initially Subbarao recorded
his objection (to non revision of entry fee) but later he said
that the issue of pricing of the spectrum stood decided."

"Neither Subbarao nor D S Mathur (former Telecom
Secretary nor any other person from any ministry are before
this court as accused," said Behura, adding at best he should
have been made a witness and not an accused as he had no role
in finalisation of any "covert act" relating to the spectrum
allocation.

In arguments that he be discharged in the case, Behura
contended that he joined the telecom ministry in January 2008
and by then all the major policy decisions like those on
spectrum pricing, the entry fee and the
first-come-first-served policy had already been decided.

"The persons concerned have been made witnesses in the
case and unfortunately Behura, who had no role in it, has been
made an accused. This is nothing but an arbitrary selection of
people as accused and witnesses. CBI has to do a lot of
explanation," Behura`s counsel said.

The government is entitled to frame a policy in which
it gives primacy to some of the aspects, he said adding that a
policy cannot be said to be wrong merely because there is more
than one opinion on a particular issue about it.

Behura`s arguments remained inconclusive and would
continue tomorrow as some of the accused, including Raja, were
taken to the Patiala House court lock up for their
interrogation by Income Tax officials who have come from
Chennai.

Behura was arrested on February 2, 2011 for his
alleged involvement in the 2G scam. Under the first charge
sheet filed in April 2, he is accused of committing criminal
conspiracy, cheating, forgery and criminal misconduct by a
public servant.

Behura had began his submissions today after former
Telecom Minister A Raja concluded his arguments opposing the
framing of charges yesterday.

Raja, in his arguments, had tried to drag Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram in the
2G tangle, besides blaming Attorney General of India G E
Vahanvati for allegedly giving wrong legal advice.

He had questioned as to why the Prime Minister, who
had the power to constitute a GoM on the issue, did not do so.

Raja had also pleaded to the court to make then
Finance Minister P Chidambaram, now the Home Minister, a
witness in the case, saying he was privy to the decision
allowing dilution of equities by Swan Telecom and Unitech
Wireless to Dubai-based Etisalat and Norway-based Telenor.

PTI

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