New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram, in the midst of a storm over his alleged involvement in the 2G scam and conflict of interest cases, got a temporary relief on Saturday when a court here deferred the hearing till January 7 on the plea of making him a co-accused in the spectrum allocation scam.
The Special CBI Court adjourned the hearing after a petitioner in the case deposed before it as a witness and presented “evidence” to prove Chidambaram`s alleged complicity in the scam and make him co-accused.
The petitioner told the court of CBI Special Judge OP Saini that Chidambaram should be made an accused in the 2G case as he had jointly taken the decision of spectrum prices with former telecom minister A Raja, the key accused in the case.
Testifying as a witness in support of his private complaint seeking prosecution of Chidambaram, the petitioner said Raja could not be held guilty "alone" of the charges that he fixed the price of spectrum licence in 2008 at the prevailing rates
"Raja could not be guilty of this (fixing the rate of spectrum charges at nominal price fixed in 2001) charge alone but he committed this offence with the active connivance of P Chidambaram," the petitioner told the court.
He said that as per a 2003 Cabinet decision, Raja and Chidambaram, who was the then finance minister, were empowered to determine the spectrum price jointly.
The petitioner said that the Prime Minister, in his statement made on the floor of Rajya Sabha on February 24, 2011, had said that pricing of spectrum was taken on the basis of a Cabinet decision of 2003 which specifically said that the issue would
be determined by the Ministry of Finance and Department of Telecommunication.
Earlier, while allowing the petitioner’s plea to be recalled as a witness in the scam Judge Saini had observed on December 8: "In view of the fact that the complainant was not aware of the identity of additional proposed accused at the time of filing the complaint, but has now come to know about it, he is not prevented in law for leading evidence on this point, more so, when he has referred to the role of other conspirators in his complaint."
(With PTI inputs)