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2G scam accused have informal talks with judge

Former Telecom Minister A Raja said that the PMO had given the nod for spectrum allocation to new operators in January, 2008.



New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister A Raja on Thursday rejected CBI`s contention that he had taken unilateral decision on 2G spectrum, saying the PMO had given the nod for spectrum allocation to new operators in January, 2008.

Raja made the remarks while contending that he never wanted to shift the blame on the Prime Minister during his earlier arguments opposing corruption and other penal charges against him.

"CBI says complete PMO was in doubt and I took unilateral decision. But the PMO had itself on January 6, 2008 said that new operators may be allotted spectrum till threshold level on same fees. Even after this note, the CBI is saying that the PMO was in doubt. I exercised due diligence and it is my duty to give details to PM," Raja said.

Raja`s remarks to the judge came after his counsel informed the court that they would not argue the case today in view of the lawyers` strike.

"I have been a minister for 12 years at the Centre. When I took oath as a minister, I said I had to abide by the Constitution and not by the advice of the Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) or Chidambaram (erstwhile Finance Minister)," Raja said.

During her turn, DMK MP Kanimozhi, accused of receiving Rs 200 crore as bribe from Shahid Usman Balwa`s DB Realty, pleaded innocence in the court saying that she never had "anything to do with the Kalaignar TV."

"I just have to say that I never had anything to do with Kalaignar TV. I do not know how they function and what decisions they take," said Kanimozhi.

Balwa mentioned to the court the plight of other accused in Tihar jail.

"With access to better lawyers, we are still better placed. There are others in the jail, who are in much worse shape," Balwa told the judge.

About the 2G case he said clause 8 of the Unified Access Services Licence guidelines is applicable only to a licensee and not to an applicant and as such Swan was not ineligible.

"The only question is we were eligible or not and this question is based on clause 8. Everything else other than this is bogus and CBI is merely going on a wild goose chase," said Balwa, terming CBI as "Central Bureau of Imagination."

Former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura also told the judge that he can call for his ACR and see that "I am a man of unimpeachable integrity. Till date I have maintained that."

He also reiterated that all decisions were taken before he joined the ministry.

Reliance ADAG Group managing director Gautam Doshi, Senior vice president Hari Nair and group president Surendra Pipara sought to point out to the court that the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has in its report clearly stated that Tiger Traders Pvt Ltd (TTPL) is not an associate of Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL), but the report has not been provided to the court by the CBI.

There is no share holding or even a Rs one transaction among RTL, RCL and TTPL, they said.

Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar referred to the third chargesheet which is yet to be filed by the CBI in the court.

He said while they were languishing in jail for the past several months after their arrest, there were other accused, who were yet to charge-sheeted.

PTI

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