New Delhi: Dragging the name of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to nail former Telecom Minister A Raja earned the CBI wrath of the special 2G court, which lashed out at the agency for trying to “prejudice” the court by dropping the PM’s name.
“The arguments have been taken up by the prosecution just to prejudice the mind of the court by invoking the high name and authority of Hon'ble Prime Minister of the country,” underlined Special Judge OP Saini in his verdict while reproaching the CBI for basing its case on “conjectures and speculations alone”.
The court held that the CBI had no evidence at all to claim that the DMK leader tried to mislead the then PM regarding the cut-off date to accept applications for the 2G spectrum licences, and also with respect to an opinion by the Law Ministry to let the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) take a call on the procedure.
According to the prosecution, Raja had written two letters to then PM Singh wherein he asserted his authority to process applications as per the existing policy and also rejected the Law Ministry’s opinion to constitute an EGoM to decide upon the procedure to accept applications and grant licences.
The judge threw out the CBI’s claim about Raja misleading Singh after noting that neither the then PM nor was anyone else from the PMO was examined by the CBI in the court to prove how the letters written by Raja were dealt with.
“The Law Minister desired the matter to be referred to EGoM, but Raja was opposed to it and conveyed it to the Hon'ble Prime Minister. Now the question is when the letter was duly discussed and considered by the Hon'ble PM, and no one from the PMO has been examined as a witness nor the relevant files with processing notes have been produced before the court, how can one say that the facts were misrepresented or that the Hon'ble Prime Minister was misled regarding the opinion of Law Minister for referring the matter to EGoM?” asked the court.
It noted that “there is no material on record to indicate that the Hon'ble PM was misled or the facts were misrepresented to him.”
Judge Saini further pointed out that there is no bar against a Minister directly writing such letters to other Minister or to the PM. “However, if a Minister writes directly to the PM, that does not by itself mean that the PM would be misled,” he added.
Therefore, the court said, that no illegality could be discovered in Raja directly writing to Singh without getting the same processed in the DoT files.
“In the end, I do not find any merit in submission of the prosecution that the PM was either misled by A Raja or that the facts were misrepresented to him…in the absence of any legally admissible evidence, the prosecution is trying to prove its case merely by arguments across the bar, which is not a correct approach. Their submissions are based on conjectures and speculations alone,” held Saini.