Pioneer News Service | New Delhi
Adding more worries to the scam-tainted UPA Government, the Supreme Court will on Wednesday hear a petition against Home Minister P Chidambaram on his alleged role in 2G Spectrum Scam as Finance Minister.
Filed by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, the petition with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as the first respondent alleges that during the tenure as Finance Minister, Chidambaram colluded with the former Telecom Minister A Raja in spectrum pricing. Chidambaram is the second respondent in the petition.
The petition cites the October 2003 Cabinet decision, which empowers the Finance Ministry in fixing the pricing of spectrum, was violated during Chidambaram’s tenure as Finance Minister. It alleges that Chidambaram did not block Raja from the arbitrary allotments.
Pointing out the objections and directions to stay the spectrum allocation at old price by the then Finance Secretary D Subbarao on November 22, 2007, the petitioner alleges that Chidambaram as a Finance Minister overruled the Finance Secretary.
Swamy also cites the findings of the Murli Manohar Joshi-led PAC report and the deposition of Subbarao before the panel that he had alerted Chidambaram.
Alleging collusion with Raja, the petitioner says that Chidambaram’s controversial letter to Prime Minister, written after five days of the scam, exposes the hidden dealing in the scam.
Attacking his arch rival, Swamy alleges that Chidambaram as Home Minister also hushed up several issues concerning national security involving foreign companies related with the scam.
The petitioner says, Telenor, which acquired major stakes in Unitech group firm (now known as Uninor), was blocked by the Home Ministry earlier due to its presence in Pakistan and Bangladesh telecom sector. It, however, got the approval during Chidambaram’s tenure as Home Minister.
Similarly, Swan Telecom’s foreign partner Etisalat was also involved in Pakistan-based telecom companies. Swamy also questions the silence of Chidambaram over the Intelligence Bureau’s adverse observations against Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka.
Swamy approached the Supreme Court after Prime Minister rejected his petition for sanction to prosecute Chidambaram. He also alleges that Chidambaram supported the sale of shares of controversial companies to foreign companies at a whopping price. Recently, Raja also claimed that he got concurrence from Chidambaram on this matter.
In his petition Swamy also quotes Prime Minister, who said in a press conference and later in Parliament that Raja and Chidambaram had discussed the spectrum pricing. Prime Minister said that though there were differences earlier, later they (Finance Minister and Telecom Minister) were on the same page.