SC criticises Raja for being disrespectful to PM

Former Telecom Minister A Raja, prime accused in the 2G case, was criticised by the Supreme Court for using "intemperate" and "objectionable" language in a letter to PM Manmohan Singh on the issue of spectrum allocation policy.

Last Updated: Mar 02, 2011, 21:57 PM IST

New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister A Raja,
prime accused in the 2G case, was on Wednesday criticised by the
Supreme Court for using "intemperate" and "objectionable"
language in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the
issue of spectrum allocation policy.

The apex court was anguished over the tone and tenor
of Raja`s letter to the Prime Minister wherein words like
"unfair, discriminatory, capricious and arbitrary" were used.
"The decorum required that the language must be polite
and temperate," a bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A
K Ganguly said, adding that "it amounted to showing disrespect
to the highest political authority of the country."

The court was hearing petitions seeking cancellation
of spectrum allocated during the tenure of Raja as telecom
minister.

The bench was referring to the letter written by Raja
on December 26, 2007 in which he "bypassed" and "overruled"
the Prime Minister`s advice to defer the allocation of 2G
spectrum by a few days.
"The expressions in the letter are very
objectionable," the bench said, noting, "Even when you are
writing to someone senior in age you have to be respectful. Unless you have learned a different language".

The bench asked, "Is the minister (Raja) saying that
the Prime Minister`s suggestions are arbitrary, unfair and
capricious".

The bench said, "It is expected that the language used
in the letter should be a little more dignified while
addressing the Prime Minister. The use of adjectives like this
should be avoided.

"The language in the letter (by Raja) is a matter of
concern. It is not addressed to any ordinary person but a
person senior who is a Prime Minister," the bench said, adding
that he was responding to a "decision of the Prime Minister."

During a previous hearing, the same bench had said
Raja had not paid heed to the Prime Minister`s letter asking
him to wait for some days before taking any action on the
allocation of spectrum.

The court had raised questions on Raja ignoring the
law ministry`s advice seeking opinion of the AG as "out of
context".

The court had made the remarks after noting that the
law minister had given an opinion that the matter be referred
to the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOM) for seeking the
opinion of the law officers like the Attorney General and
the Solicitor General.

"Raja first received opinion of the law ministry which
he overruled by saying it was out of context, then he received
a letter of the Prime Minister on the same day asking him to
wait. The Prime Minister had sought to know further action
taken by him (Raja). That was also ignored," the court had
said.

PTI

Tags: