Special CBI court reserves its order on making the Home Minister an accused in the case, Swamy argues he is as ‘culpable’ as A Raja
Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy, on Saturday, presented his arguments in the special CBI court in Delhi regarding the evidence which he has brought before the court, saying that ‘prima facie show that (Union Home Minister) P Chidambaram is equally culpable as former Telecom Minister A Raja’ in the 2G spectrum allocation scam. Special judge OP Saini has reserved its order for 4 February on Swamy’s plea seeking the prosecution of Chidambaram.
“Put up for orders on February 4,” judge Saini said after Swamy concluded his arguments.
Swamy also presented a note from the Ministry of Home Affairs when the 2G spectrum allocations were being done during the tenure of the UPA-I government which said that Swam Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa had underworld links, as also the company Unitech. The note, which Swamy claims was sent to the Finance Ministry when P Chidambaram was the Finance Minister saying ‘Balwa was Dawood’s man’. On 7 January, Swamy had completed recording of his statement and had deposed that Chidambaram was “guilty of breach of trust of national security” as he had not disclosed that Etisalat and Telenor, to which Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless had diluted their shares, were blacklisted.
After completing his arguments, Swamy said, “I have presented the minutes of a meeting between A Raja and Chidambaram in which Chidambaram has said that 6.2 mhz spectrum should be given for free with license.”
“A Raja and P Chidambaram had committed the offence together. Prima facie Chidambaram had conspired and colluded with Raja to commit offence of criminal misconduct,” he said, adding that the evidence which he had bought before the court was sufficient to show that Chidambaram has prima facie committed offences under Prevention of Corruption Act and other criminal laws. “It is clear that at this stage all I need to do is to show that evidence brought on record is sufficient to show that Chidambaram, at present not an accused in the case, has prima facie committed offences under the Prevention of Corruption Act and other criminal laws,” he contended.
Referring to the court’s order of 22 October on framing of charges in the case, Swamy said that offloading of shares by Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless to foreign-based Etisalat and Telenor respectively was only a ‘trick’. “The share dilution was only a trick because it permitted licences to be transferred,” Swamy said. Swamy had pointed out in the court on 7 January that Swan Telecom was allotted licences for 13 circles for Rs 1,537 crore and it offloaded 45 per cent of its shares in the licences before the roll-out to Etisalat for Rs 4,200 crore, while Unitech was allotted licences for 22 circles for Rs 1,658 crore and it offloaded 60 per cent of its shares in the licences to Telenor for Rs 6,100 crore even before the roll-out, he had said.
Swamy has also presented documents to say that as the then finance minister, Chidambaram, along with Raja, was empowered by the October 2003 cabinet decision to discuss and finalise spectrum prices. Swamy on 17 December, 2011, had argued in the court that Chidambaram and Raja were party to the decision of non-revision of entry fees of Rs 1,658 crore, taken in 2001 during the NDA regime. “Since he (Chidambaram) had colluded, conspired and consented with Raja, he did not call for a cabinet meeting although the officers (of Ministry of Finance) had kept Chidambaram apprised of the whole thing,” he argued.
Swamy had told the court on 7 January that the certified documents showed that Chidambaram was in ‘connivance’ and ‘collusion’ with Raja on fixing the price of spectrum licence and permitting two companies Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless, which received the licences, in dilution of shares even before roll out of their services.
Swamy had placed on record certified copies of the minutes of a meeting on 30 January, 2008, between Chidambaram and Raja and also the minutes of another meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the two ministers. He also submitted a certified copy of a 15 January, 2008, letter written to the PM by Chidambaram, a 21 December, 2010, communication to him from the PM’s office and the controversial 25 March, 2011, Office Memo of the Finance Ministry to PMO.
Arpit Parashar is a Senior Correspondent with Tehelka.com.