Former Telecom Minister A Raja today rejected in a Delhi court CBI’s suggestions that he had put pressure on Department of Telecommunications (DoT) officers to process applications seeking 2G spectrum licences and issue letters of intent (LoIs) in simultaneous manner. Also Read - Let our firms take part in 5G trials, China tells India
Raja, who is deposing as a witness to defend himself in the ongoing 2G spectrum allocation case trial, told the court that there was no “disagreement” among the DoT officers on the point of issuing LoIs to eligible firms simultaneously. “It is wrong to suggest that DoT officials were not inclined to process the applications and issue LoIs in simultaneous manner. It is further wrong to suggest that I put pressure on the officers of DoT to process applications and issue LoIs in simultaneous manner through secretary (T) Sidharath Behura and my private secretary R K Chandolia,” Raja told Special CBI Judge O P Saini. “There was not a single occasion that there was a disagreement amongst the officers either in the note sheet or in the discussions when the decision of simultaneous issuance was taken and Sidharath Behura joined in January 2008, whereas this decision was taken way back in October 2007. As such, the suggestion itself is incorrect and nonest,” he contended. Also Read - DoT permits telecom service providers to go ahead with 5G trials
Raja and others, including Behura and Chandolia, are facing trial in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case. During the cross-examination, the CBI prosecutor told Raja that two officers of DoT, D Jha and R J S Kushvaha, were “transferred deliberately” for not processing the application of Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, one of the accused company, for Delhi service area as per his desires. Also Read - Coronavirus: Telecom operators urge DoT to offer free access to critical sites
Responding to this, Raja said “it is incorrect.” “The internal transfer of officers would take place as per the norms and it would not be put upto me and, as such, I did not have any knowledge of this,” Raja, whose cross-examination remained inconclusive, said.