August 12, 2020
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For The Record

'Let The Prosecution Touch Tata Teleservices'

It was not just the PM and the then FM who were the targets of the former telecom minister's ire in court when he responded to charges against him in the 2G Spectrum Scam

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'Let The Prosecution Touch Tata Teleservices'

Sana Shakil of the Pioneer transcribes excerpts of former Telecom Minister A. Raja's assertions in the court on July 25 in response to charges levelled against him in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case:

The then Finance Minister in presence of the Prime Minister had said that sale of equity by Swan Telecom and Unitech to bring foreign direct investment is not illegal. Let the PM deny this.

The then Finance Minister, who is now Home Minister, had said in front of the Prime Minister that dilution of shares does not amount to sale of 2G licence as per the corporate law. When sale of equity does not amount to sale of licence, how will the profit reap in? When there is no profit, where is the question of corruption in this regard?

Who is CBI to decide the loss? Let the Government say so because in case the loss has occurred, the Government is the victim.

Whatever I have done was my legitimate power, discharge of my duty. Every sign that I have put in the files was discharge of my duties. Except for the media hype, there is nothing in the case. It is a case not based on witnesses but documents. Who says, it is a loss. The PM and present Telecom Minister have made statements before the press and in the Parliament that there was no loss. It is CBI’s imagination. If the loss has occurred, the Cabinet Secretary must come to the court or the PM should tell this to the court.

Telecom Minister Arun Shourie distributed 26 licences while Dayanidhi Maran distributed 25 and I distributed 122 licences. Numbers make no difference, however, it must be noted that none of them auctioned the spectrum. If they had done no wrong, why am I being questioned? Let them deny that they have not done what I did. I was just following the 2003 Cabinet decision that is not to auction 2G spectrum. I am following the law; I am not liable to be prosecuted. I should be rewarded.

The CBI is maintaining that when DB Realty gave its shares (in Swan Telecom) to bring in money, it amounted to sale and so is the case with Unitech (Wireless). But, when Tata Teleservices give its shares to bring in FDI, it, according to the CBI, does not amount to sale.

The only sin of DB Realty and Unitech, who are actually realty eagles and developers, is that they have got good contacts and brought money from abroad.

Let the prosecution touch Tata Teleservices, who have made Rs 14,000 crore in this. They cannot touch it. This is my challenge (to CBI). Picking and choosing (the accused) is not permissible in law. Nine telecom companies were issued 2G licences but CBI alleges that I conspired only with two companies — Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless of Sanjay Chandra — leaving out Tata Teleservices and others.

S Tel also earned Rs 2,230 crore by diluting its shares but that was not considered as sale by the CBI then why only Unitech Wireless and Swan Telecom are caught.

It was my obligation to social justice that every man on the street should have a mobile phone. I am a servant of my people and I made the call rates of mobile phone so cheap that even a rickshawala or a maid servant can be seen using it.

CBI should make a statement that I am nowhere involved in any of the remaining investigation concerning any allottee. Otherwise, all the accused will be free but what will happen to me because I have signed all the files.

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