Don’t feel like a villain: SC consoles Raja

A Raja, who was forced to resign as the Telecom minister in connection with the 2G spectrum scam, on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that he feels condemned as "the villain of the piece".

New Delhi: A Raja, who was forced to resign
as the Telecom minister in connection with the 2G spectrum
scam, on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that he feels condemned as
"the villain of the piece".

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly
responded saying he need not feel so.
At another stage during the course of the hearing in the
2G spectrum case, senior counsel T R Andhyarujina, appearing
for Raja, submitted "My (Raja) stock is so low today that
whatever I say, nothing can redeem my reputation."

Andhyarujina said the former is being condemned all
round particularly by the media as the "villain of the piece".

Opening his arguments, he said that in view of the
general opinion "that there is lack of any standards and
sickening feeling of all institutions having failed, today
I am being considered the villain of the piece."

However, the Bench responded by way of reassuring him
saying, "Don`t feel so."

"I (Raja) stand condemned. I am charged, tried and
convicted in the eyes of media," Andhyarujina submitted.

"It is like I am responsible for the loss of Rs 1.76
lakh crore," he said.
"His silence has been taken as admission of guilt. The
impression is: I am responsible for the loss of enormous
amount which is mindboggling," he said.

The counsel then questioned the CAG`s finding and also
the manner in which the draft report was leaked even before
the final report was tabled in Parliament.

The submission evoked a query from the Bench which
asked whether there was any rule for the CAG to maintain the
confidentiality of the report submitted by it since it is a
"high Constitutional institution."

"Is there any rule about secrecy. We are giving an
example. When one of the judges among us prepare a draft
judgement. Till it is signed and pronounced, it does not go
into the public domain. That is the requisite of a public
institution. Is there such rule. It is a high Constitutional
institution," the Bench asked.

Andhyarujina and Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium
both submitted that the procedure was that the report has to
be first forwarded to the President who in turn directs it to
be placed before Parliament.

However, counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for Centre
for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), submitted that under
the RTI Act there was no immunity for the CAG report from
disclosure.

At this stage the Bench asked, "Could it be made
public even before the debate (in Parliament). Judgements are
being delivered outside (apparent reference was to media
reportage). Today atmosphere is that there is an attempt to
rush out to the media and studios including by members of our
fraternity."

PTI

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