PC bound to come as witness in 2G case: A Raja
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Last Updated: Tuesday, July 26, 2011, 21:27
New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister A Raja on Tuesday sought to make then Finance Minister P Chidambaram a witness in 2G case, saying he was privy to matters relating to dilution of equities by Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless to foreign firms.

"The then Finance Minister (Chidambaram) is bound to come in the court as a witness," Raja's counsel Sushil Kumar said while advancing arguments on framing of charges before Special CBI Judge O P Saini trying the 2G case.

Raja said Chidambaram and even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were aware of offloading of shares to foreign firms -- Dubai-based Etisalat and Norway-based Telenor -- by Swan Telecom and Unitech, alleged beneficiaries of the scam.

"The matters relating to dilution of equities to foreign firms by Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless were known to the Prime Minister and then Finance Minister Chidambaram," Raja said.

His counsel said Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) approves all foreign investment.

"FIPB approves every foreign investment. It has to go to the cabinet. Ultimately, it is the decision of the cabinet. What crime have I committed?," Kumar said, adding "why these businessmen are here? They have followed the law."

Raja's counsel said foreign investment was required for the growth of the economy and if such a situation is being created for foreigners, who are investing here, then it would seriously affect the country.

"If you are creating such a situation in India, it is bound to affect the economy. How can you put these foreigners in jail for investing (money) here"? he said.

Foreign Direct Investment limit was increased to 74 per cent and hence, offloading of 45 per cent and 60 per cent shares by Swan Telecom and Unitech to Etisalat and Telenor respectively did not violate the limit.

Kumar said the whole case was built on the CAG report of November 8, 2010 which estimated the loss to the exchequer at 1.76 lakh crore.

Referring to the Comptroller and Audiotor General of India, he said, "This accountant, howsoever high he may be, has no knowledge of law."

He also told the court that even the CBI has not relied upon the CAG report on the presumptive loss due to spectrum allocation under Raja.

"Where has CBI relied on it? It has also given two figures of 22,000 crore and 30,000 crore.

"Everybody is mixed up in this case becuase no one has seen such big figure of 1.76 lakh crore."


First Published: Tuesday, July 26, 2011, 21:27

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