Former Telecom Minister A Raja on Wednesday told a special court that he had informed then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the Law Ministry’s opinion to refer the matter of processing of applications seeking 2G spectrum to an empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM).
Opposing CBI’s allegations that he had misled the Prime Minister and incorrectly stated that the opinion of Law Ministry to refer the matter to EGoM was out of context, Raja argued that Manmohan Singh did not feel the need to refer the matter to the EGoM and the issue rested there.
“I had conveyed to the Prime Minister about it. I left it to the Prime Minister to decide on the issue. I had told him what the Law Ministry was saying and what was the view of DoT on it. The Prime Minister was empowered to constitute an EGoM,” Raja’s counsel Manu Sharma told Special CBI Judge O P Saini during the final arguments in the 2G spectrum case.
Maintaining that it was not his view that the Law Ministry’s opinion was “out of context”, he said this was the Department of Telecommunications’s (DoT) view which was arrived at after due consultation with its Member (Technology) and Deputy Director General (AS).
Referring to the letters written by Raja to the Prime Minister, his counsel said he had informed Manmohan Singh about everything that was happening on the issue.
“As I had informed the Prime Minister about everything, including the suggestions of the Law Ministry and the DoT’s view on it, the ball was in the Prime Minister’s court,” the lawyer said.
He further argued that DoT was of the view that the issue of processing of applications cannot go to EGoM in any manner.
“The Law Minister had said that in view of the importance of the issue, the matter be referred to the EGoM. I say there was no reason to refer the matter of processing of applications to the EGoM,” he said.
“Three letters were written by Raja to the Prime Minister and the final letter written by Raja in which he had given the entire details was vetted and studied in depth by then senior PMO official, Pulok Chatterji. The Prime
Minister had said it was okay. Had it not been okay, the things would have been different,” the counsel said during the final arguments, which would continue tomorrow.