New Delhi: In a major revelation in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case, the Central Bureau of Investigation told the special court that former telecom minister A Raja had "misled" the then prime minister Manmohan Singh on policy matters pertaining to spectrum allocation.
Commencing final arguments in the case, Special Public Prosecutor Anand Grover said that Raja, in conspiracy with other accused, had advanced the cut-off date to favour accused firms in allocation of 2G licences.
Grover argued that Raja had granted spectrum to "ineligible" companies like Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL) and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd.
He said that the first-come-first-serve (FCFS) policy was changed to favour some of the accused and Raja even rejected the proposal of the then Law Minister who had proposed that some of the key policy issues be referred to the Empowered Group of Ministers.
Referring to the letters written by Raja on November 2, 2007 to the then prime minister, Grover said, "He (Raja), infact, misled him (Manmohan Singh) on FCFS and cut-off date.
"Curious things happened in DoT (Department of Telecommunication) which showed that this (change in FCFS policy) was deliberately done to favour the accused," the prosecutor said.
On the issue of grant of licence to ineligible companies, the agency said that accused firm Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd was ineligible on the date of application for grant of radio waves as it was "actually owned by Tiger Traders Pvt Ltd through Reliance ADAG".
The final arguments in the case would continue on May 25, the next date of hearing.
Earlier on March 4, a special court had supplied a draft copy of the questionnaire of 400 questions to Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others in a money laundering case related to 2G spectrum allocation. CBI Special Judge OP Saini supplied the draft questionnaire that runs into about 225 pages to the accused which they have to answer as part of their statement in the case.
On September 10, 2014, the special court had concluded recording of defence evidence in the case. In its chargesheet, CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.
The recording of evidence in the case involving Raja and 16 others had started four years ago on November 11, 2011, after the court framed charges against the 17 accused named in the first two chargesheets filed by the agency. Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja's erstwhile private secretary RK Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair are facing trial in the case.
Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV Director Sharad Kumar and Bollywood producer Karim Morani are also accused in the case. Besides these 14 accused persons, three telecom firms Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL), Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd are facing trial in the case.
The court had on October 22, 2011 framed charges against them under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe. The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.
(With additional information from PTI)