Shourie slams Patil report on 2G scam

Last Updated: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 13:34

Mumbai: Trashing the report on 2G scam by
Justice Shivraj Patil, former telecom minister Arun Shourie
Tuesday accused Union Minister Kapil Sibal of trying to save
A Raja by functioning as his advocate.

"Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal is an advocate of A Raja.
He always tried to save Raja by saying that he had informed
everything to the Prime Minister," Shourie told reporters
here.

Shourie said the report by the former judge appointed
by the government in December is a complete misrepresentation
and distortion and it only helps the government.

The report had said all procedures followed by the
NDA government in 2003 as also by the UPA government till 2008
were not transparent and that it was not done in a fair
manner.

"Sibal is lying," Shourie said, adding former telecom
minister Raja changed the priority list for spectrum
allocation in 2008 and advanced the cut-off date to help
certain companies.

"A hand-picked judge gives the report to the government
which is so convenient that they can derail the issue. It is a
perversity. How can documents be suppressed," he said,
blasting the report and Sibal.

"I have the documents which were suppressed and not
placed before the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General),"
Shourie said.

The CAG has estimated the financial loss to the
exchequer in the allocation of 2G spectrum licences by Raja,
now under CBI custody, at Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

He said while "Justice Patil says we (the BJP regime)
deviated from TRAI recommendation, actually every single TRAI
recommendation was adhered to by us in letter and spirit."

"On every single matter of this we consulted TRAI and
acted accordingly. This was done in consultation with the
Finance Ministry. Member, Finance was sitting on every
meeting. His signatures are on every decision including first-
come, first-serve," he said.

On the charge of wrongdoing in distributing spectrum
during NDA regime, Shourie countered it saying, "This was not
Manmohan Singh Cabinet that the ministry could do anything. It
was Atal Behari Vajpayee`s Cabinet. You could not do one
milimetre more than what Cabinet has decided."

The CBI arrested Raja on February 2 in connection with
its probe in the 2G scam.

"Sibal gives half truths. He is not the advocate of the
government. He is advocate of Raja and with every press
conference he holds to protect Raja and implicates PM."

Shourie, however said, that he did not agree with the
estimate of the CAG on the losses incurred to the exchequer on
2G.

"Sibal has said that Raja had kept PM fully informed
of every decision. In that case what was Manmohan Singh doing
for the last six and half years when the loot was going on?”
asked Shourie.

He said Raja had suddenly preponed date for accepting
applications for spectrum licenses which was fixed for October
1, 2008.

"He (Raja) does not disclose that they changed the
basis of first-come-first serve...It will not be the date of
application but the date on which the letter of intent was
fulfilled. Among the conditions were that you bring Rs 1,650
crore by bank draft within 41 minutes," he said.

There was "misrepresentation" of facts in the Patil
report which Shourie termed as a "fabrication" by Sibal.

Justice Patil was appointed in December to scrutinize
the procedure relating to 2G spectrum allocation. Raja was
forced to resign in the wake of the CAG report and Sibal
asked to look after the key ministry.

The Patil report said that there has been no
transparent decision in the allocation of spectrum since 2003.
It blamed the NDA government, of which Shourie was a part, for
introducing faulty policies, including the first-come-first-
serve policy for companies who applied for spectrum.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - 13:34

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