PM endorsed all 2G policy decisions: Balwa
Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa told a Delhi court that PM, then external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee and then Solicitor General Goolam E Vahanvati were aware of all the policy decisions taken in the 2G scam.
New Delhi: Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa on Monday told a Delhi court that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, then external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee and then Solicitor General Goolam E. Vahanvati were aware of all the policy decisions taken in the 2G scam.
"All the decisions related to the 2G policies were endorsed by the prime minister," Majid Memon, counsel for Balwa, told Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special judge O.P. Saini.
"Moreover, there was a discussion between the then external affairs minister and the then solicitor general on the 2G policies in which they discussed each and every point," Memon added.
He added that former telecom minister A. Raja wrote Dec 26, 2007 a letter to the prime minister which mentioned the decisions taken regarding the allocation of the spectrum licenses.
"If that letter is brought before the court, it would falsify the CBI`s case," Memon said, accusing the agency of not placing all the documents before the court.
But the counsel clarified he had no intention to drag the prime minister into the issue.
"The intention is not to drag the PM into the issue. Then tomorrow the opposition raises voice in parliament that the PM supported a man who is in jail (Raja). I just want to say the PM supported a right thing, and there was nothing wrong in the policy," he said.
Memon alleged that the CBI had a soft corner for the Tatas.
In between, Balwa argued his own case.
"Tata was the only company which sold secondary equity. The money came from Tata was Rs.12,000 crore. Out of which Rs.3,000 crore went to Tata`s ... pocket," he said.
"I sold the primary equity... What have I gained from taking the license is something I really want to find out."
The defense counsel blamed the CBI for selectively targeting some firms in the spectrum scam.
He asked how could he have caused a loss to the national exchequer when the prime minister and Communications Minister Kapil Sibal have said there was no loss in the spectrum case.
"The exact loss to the exchequer declared by the CBI is based on the assumption that if there was an option (of auctioning spectrum), then what is the amount of profit it could get... when there was no option, then there is no question of loss," said Memon.
Memon also told the court that the CBI`s case is sending a wrong message to foreign investors as they are scared to see people who have invested going to jail.
Counsel posed four questions to CBI: What is the actual loss in 2G? If there was a loss, then who is responsible for it? Was Swan Telecom ineligible when it got the licence Jan 10, 2008? And was Swan ineligible for presenting the application while applying for licenses? If yes, then why wasn`t any action taken, why were they not stopped?" Memon asked.
The counsel said that according to CBI, the quantum of loss in issuing licenses in 122 circles was Rs.22,000 crore, but Balwas are not holders of all 122 circles.
"If I assume that I have caused a loss of Rs.7,015 crore, then why is the CBI not taking action against people responsible for the other losses? Why this selective prosecution?"