Following are extracts from the book 2G Saga Unfolds by former Telecom Minister A. Raja. The book will be released in New Delhi on Saturday. The sub-headings to the extract have been given by this newspaper for the readers’ comprehension.

VINOD RAI

I have compiled in this book the happenings around the 2G spectrum allocation: portraying both the challenges that I faced as well as my defiant resolve to crusade for national progress. The incidents and individuals presented in these events are in clear evidence even now, hence there is nothing for me to veil or misrepresent… This book shall elaborate with the evidence of events and documents, how the former CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General of India) Vinod Rai while appearing well-intentioned, has executed the functions of his office with ulterior motives and lack of objectivity…

The few who comprehended this reality and maintained their constancy can unfortunately be counted on one’s fingers. Everybody—shockingly even the Supreme Court bench—became so enthralled by the notion of a hypothesized presumptive loss figure as indicative of an actual ‘scam’ of huge proportion that emotion trumped over logic and—more significantly—the legal process… I shall debunk Mr. Rai’s allegations in the chapters that follow and demonstrate that issues which were paraded as pearls gleaned from the ocean of CAG’s report were not even so many specks of sand. The possibility of a ‘conspiracy-nexus’ cannot be ruled out in this travesty of responsible and honourable jurisprudence. I will show that Rai’s words and actions are:

Malicious vigilantism that makes a mockery of his constitutional responsibilities;

Disgraceful purchase of self-promotion at the cost of Truth and Integrity;

Wanton sacrifice of national progress to further perverted political goals;

Corrupt commercialism couched in moral rhetoric and veiled altruism.

I am certain that reports of auditors like Shriman Vinod Rai which I will show to be mere trash shall be unanimously deemed fit for the dustbin…

‘TELECOM OFFICIALS GIFTING AWAY RESOURCES’

In spite of…attempts to fillip the Telecom Sector, at that time in 2007 when I stepped in, the overall mobile phone consumer base was just 23.4 crores; the call rate was almost Rs 1 per minute; and there were a mere 7 telecom providers in the country… I decided to grab the bull by the horns and promptly convened a review meeting of the Telecom Department with the aim of getting to know the number of service providers/operators using 2G Technology and the quantum of spectrum allotted to them in proportion to the total spectrum available. The ministry officials probably did not expect this level of investigation from me so quickly and I could sense their hesitation and perplexity in responding to my queries. I was very disappointed with their replies. In all my prior roles, I had no need to compete with anyone personally in order to deliver on my duties and initiatives. However, in the DoT my efforts were met with resistance and animosity from some sections. It was becoming clear to me, while the general public, government institutions and the Judiciary remained oblivious, that resources under the purview of the Telecom Ministry were being selectively almost gifted away and that there appeared to be a nexus involving 4 or 5 Telecom companies. These Telco’s lobbied and influenced ministry officials to render policy decisions in their favour, get requisite government approvals and consequently reap huge profits…

Once I issued stern instructions to the staff, information of the availability of around 35-40 MHz of unallocated spectrum came to the open in Nov 2007. All those financial wizards who made so much noise of the (apparently) big loss to the government in the spectrum allocation, never bothered to take account of the real loss—not only financial but also in terms of service penetration (teledensity)—when so much available spectrum was being kept hidden….

TWO WARRING GROUPS

Telecom companies like Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone, Idea were operating with GSM (Global System for Mobiles) technology whereas TATA and Reliance were operating with CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technology…Since 2006 itself, Reliance’s Anil Ambani was seeking permission for GSM in addition to CDMA. The existing GSM providers including Airtel’s Sunil Mittal were indirectly but belligerently intent on disallowing this demand from the CDMA operators. The GSM operators ganged up to form COAI (Cellular Operators Association of India) while the CDMA operators formed AUSPI (Association of Unified Telecom Service Providers of India) in order to lobby their respective causes…The business-war between these two groups had been a chronic administrative headache for the Telecom Ministry.

…in August 2007 TRAI released its 200-page report of recommendations which was published on the Telecom Ministry’s website on the 29th of that month…

These recommendations were discussed and unanimously accepted by the Telecom Commission headed by the Telecom Secretary. Nripendra Mishra had also his considerable experience as Telecom Secretary in DoT during the period of 2004-2006. The consultation paper floated by him earlier as Chairman, TRAI to finalise the recommendations and subsequent vast deliberations thereon with various stakeholders were commendable both technically and scientifically…However, TRAI’s recommended figures were not agreeable to COAI. They argued that the technical factors and data that TRAI had relied on were faulty and partisan in nature, resulting in very high subscriber base criteria which would lead to losses for them. COAI’s other major bugbear was dual technology licensing which the government had enabled through UASL… COAI remained firm that dual technology should not be permitted. They had apprehensions about the competition and threat to their business as existing CDMA operators (like Reliance or TATA) could start their (GSM) operation immediately upon being allotted the spectrum since they had adequate infrastructure and technical facilities all across the country. So, they tried by all means to keep the government policy favourable to them and avoid the threat of competition even though it would quite naturally have benefited the public…

The heads of these companies also started calling on me which started getting prominent mention in the news. Anil Ambani and Ratan Tata of AUSPI as well as T.V. Ramachandran and Sunil Mittal the key executives at COAI came to meet me to discuss plans for the future of Wireless Telecom in India.

‘KARTHI BROUGHT SUNIL MITTAL’

…Karthi Chidambaram who is an acquaintance called me up one day during the middle of September 2007 and told me that his friend Sunil Mittal (of Airtel) urgently wanted to speak with me that very day, since he was going abroad later in the night. I was having dinner at ‘Tamil Nadu House’ in Delhi, with a senior Minister of the DMK who was on an official visit when the call came. The social and industry standing of Mittal, the substantial share of COAI in the Telecom sector and Karthi Chidambaram’s recommendation made me agree to meet him at 10:30 pm in my camp office. At this meeting, Mittal said that the TRAI recommendations did not give adequate protection to foreign investors who had invested in their Indian partner companies using GSM and also did not ensure provision of additional spectrum for their future expansion…He complained that TRAI’s recommendations were against the growth of the GSM providers but were in favour of the CDMA providers… He claimed that COAI was used for very cordial relations with all my predecessors in the ministry and he expected “similar cooperation” from me as well which seemed to me extreme my contemptuous and cynical…

Referring repeatedly to his business acumen, considerable resources and political influence, Mittal kept trying to emphasise his apprehension that the ministry may yield to his competitors and wrongly dilute his position even if the move had the premise of being legally and procedurally valid. He was perhaps attempting to alert me from being misled and convinced by others, or perhaps he was attempting to coax me before someone else could. I was keen on ensuring an environment conducive to the amicable enforcement of TRAI’s recommendations, so I continued the dialogue. “Do you fear that somebody will buy me? Let me assure you that there might be a price for me but I don’t think there is anybody in this world rich enough to pay it.” This got Mittal on the defensive and he denied any intention of implying that. He reiterated his comment about cordial relationship with the ministry and concluded that, “they were prepared for any kind of cordial relationship.” The underlying allusion seemed easy to comprehend and I made it clear to Mittal that I was not for such one-sided cordiality when what was needed was an objective and neutral atmosphere for the good of the nation… I briefed the PM about this meeting with Mittal as well as Karthi Chidambaram’s role in arranging it and ensured that he understood the tenor of this key stake holder and industry leader…

This irreconcilable difference between the two groups of Telecom providers was well known to the PM and also to senior ministers like Pranab Mukherjee, H.R. Bhardwaj and P. Chidambaram. I mention these names specifically because they had a role to play in the 2G saga… Since the Telecom Ministry had already accepted TRAI’s recommendations on subscriber base criteria, I went ahead and gave my approval to it on 18 October 2007—which was also reported in the media. To my disappointment, COAI, which was determined to stall the course of these recommendations, wrote more than 10 letters of grievance to the Telecom Ministry. Then on 23 October 2007 they filed a case with TDSAT… At this point, Farid whom I had met a couple of times along with Sam Pitroda regarding some new technology, requested me to grant yet another appointment to Sunil Mittal and his brother Rajan Mittal as they wanted to meet me to find some amicable solution… Even during that meeting which took place in the end of October 2007, Sunil Mittal was insistent that TRAI’s recommendations must be scaled back—in fact he demanded the subscriber base criteria should be halved—and that dual (GSM and CDMA) technology should not be permitted…

I admired the confidence—even though it had shades of smug conceit—of Sunil Mittal who probably believed that the Telecom Sector’s governing bodies were obliged to pander to an industry player of his stature…

LETTERS TO AND FROM PM

…After having signed the file, on 2 November 2007, I wrote a letter (Annexure-I) to the PM in order to apprise him of the events and decisions taken in the department in relation to the 2G licensing/spectrum. The details furnished in my letter were as follows:

1. 575 applications for licenses were received.

2. Opinion sought from the Law Ministry about the method established by the Telecom Ministry to process those applications.

3. The Law Minister (not the Ministry of Law) on his own without any legal basis made an observation recommending the matter to be placed before (the already in-session) GoM.

4. When that observation of the Law Minister was considered under the policies, rules and procedures adopted by the Ministry, it was decided that it was ‘out of context’.

5. It was decided then on the basis of the availability of spectrum and the quantum of spectrum that would become available soon, to consider in the first phase all applications received until 25 September 2007.

Co-incidentally, a letter (Annexure-II) from the Prime Minister’s Office addressed to me was also simultaneously on its way and delivered at 7 pm on the same day to my 2A, Motilal Nehru Marg residence. Upon reading the letter it becomes apparent that its contents match the representation by COAI in this context. What is also noteworthy is that it was only on 5 November (three days later as noted in the PMO records) that both the Joint Secretary (Telecom) and the Director (Telecom) working in the PM’s Office were shown the PM’s letter to me as well as my letter addressed to him. This makes me wonder whether this letter was indeed drafted by the PMO. The key topics highlighted in the annexure of the PM’s letter were:

1. Enhancement of subscriber-linked spectrum allocation criteria

2. Permission for CDMA service providers to also provide

service in GSM and be eligible for spectrum in the GSM Band

3. The processing of large number of applications received for fresh licenses against the backdrop of inadequate spectrum to cater to overall demand

4. In order that spectrum use efficiency gets directly linked with correct pricing of spectrum consider:

i. introduction of transparent methodology of auction, wherever technically possible

ii. revision of entry fee which is currently benchmarked on old spectrum auction figures

5. Early decision on issues like rural telephony, infrastructure sharing, 3G, Broadband, Number Portability and BWA on which TRAI had already provided recommendations

Out of the five topics mentioned above, on the first four, the decisions of the Government were filed in the records after obtaining the recommendations of TRAI, their acceptance by the Telecom Commission and my approval of it. It is still a puzzle to me as to what could have prompted the PM to send that letter to me. With all due respect, I am of the opinion that such a letter bearing the PM’s signature should never have been sent…The Prime Minister in his letter had asked whether it would be possible to issue new licenses without adequate spectrum availability. The letter also contained the COAI’s argument that TRAI had not substantiated its recommendation in a proper manner with regard to the subscriber-linked criteria for additional spectrum allocation to existing service providers. The basic reason behind COAI raising these issues was that they were keen to expand their monopoly as in some states they already enjoyed spectrum to the tune of 10-12 MHz insteadof their legitimate share of 4.4 MHz. COAI had on one hand moved the Tribunal challenging the policy decisions of the Government but had failed to get an interim stay order in its appeal to the Delhi High Court. On the other hand, it was apparently also knocking at the doors of the PMO for intervention.

Realising that the letter from the PM appeared to doubt the credibility of my actions, I decided to immediately write a response. I showed the draft of my response to the letter of the PM, to Sridhara, whom I had called in to verify my facts. After making certain corrections pointed out by Sridhara, I sent that letter (Annexure-III) to the PM around 10 pm on the same night. Till date, no one has proved that the details in my reply letter were untrue or uncorroborated by the department files. Instead of verifying whether the contents of my letter were correct, those sitting in judgement only raised questions like “how can the Prime Minister’s advice be ignored?” In fact, the PM had not provided any specific instructions in his letter; he had merely stated that “a number of issues relating to allocation of spectrum have been raised by telecom sector companies as well as in sections of media.” When the PM himself had not claimed to have given any advice, it is such a sham to claim that I had ignored the PM’s advice…

I had a meeting with the PM later in the month of November in order to further discuss the matter contained in our letters along with details of the existing rules and regulations that were followed and related precedents. I explained everything in detail to him citing the observations in the department files. I also explained that COAI’s brief to him was a ploy to procure additional spectrum only for them while ensuring that it was not distributed either through new licenses or on the basis of dual technology operations to CDMA operators like Reliance. The PM understood the motives of COAI and asked me to explain more about the enhanced subscriber base criteria…

The initiatives I was taking under the circumstances, the forces working against me and the way in which the Ministry and I handled the situation comforted the Prime Minister. He wished me success in my efforts. He also agreed with me when I stated, “Some in the Cabinet are supportive of COAI in this issue and some are against it. Corporations are trying to thrust their views not only upon me but also on some senior Ministers.”

‘COAI WENT TO FINANCE MINISTRY’

In order to finalise the Draft Letter of Intent (LoI), the policy file to issue licenses was prepared by Shah Nawaz Alam, a Director of the License Finance wing. After being endorsed by the Deputy Director General of the License wing (DDG-LF) and the Advisor Finance, that file was sent to Mrs Manju Madhavan on 30 November 2007. It was she who accepted the decision for not revising the Entry fee and gave approval to send the reply to the Finance Secretary in another separate file justifying this on the basis of TRAI’s recommendation. On 30 November 2007, the Finance Minister himself saw the documents sent to the Finance Ministry in which Mrs Madhavan had given her approval without reservation… But suddenly she changed her stand even without consulting the Finance Ministry and wrote contrarian views in the file – presumably, to oblige somebody. During the time when the processing of applications for the issuance of licenses was in progress there were many such attempts of interference.

On 22 November 2007, the Financial Express (Mumbai) carried a news item, “New Telecom licenses as per existing policy…. COAI has also said if Letters of Intent are issued to all prospective licensees, it would seriously hamper investors’ confidence. This would be absolutely incorrect, arbitrarily illegal and untenable for the Government.” It is no surprise that COAI had gone to the Finance Ministry when their attempt to put the efforts of the Telecom Ministry on hold through the PMO had also failed.

‘NOT A CRIMINAL ACT’

The contents of my letters and the way in which the Prime Minister conducted himself in this matter in no way construed any administrative lapses on (sic) criminal acts. In fact, the PM was disturbed when I explained to him the exploitation by the cartel in the telecom sector. He wanted the hidden spectrum to be made available for public use. The patronage shown by him to me in relation to 2G licensing and spectrum allocation was totally justified and correct as per policy and law. My anguish is that the Government headed by him did not back him up…

TELECOM SECRETARY D.S. MATHUR

Needless to say, this expedient execution by the Telecom Ministry came as a shock to COAI whose aim was to halt the processing of applications and further issuance of licenses. Within a few days after issuing LoI’s, COAI filed a case in the Delhi High Court on 14 January 2008. Newspapers affiliated to the opposition or attempting to ingratiate themselves with the COAI, went ahead with the task expected of them: they raised questions as to why so many licenses were issued on a single day in an apparently hasty and non-transparent manner; they spread gossip as if spectrum was being allocated at a huge loss to the exchequer; they made allegations that I had personally manipulated the cut-off date (advancing it from 1 October 2007 to 25 September 2007) in order to favour some companies…

On 17 October 2007, ‘Common Cause’, an NGO also wrote to the CVC, “It has been reported that the Department proposes to accept the recommendation of TRAI for continuance of old policy of allocation of Spectrum at a pre-determined price on a FCFS basis.” On the same day, ‘Common Cause’ sent a similar letter to the Telecom Secretary D.S. Mathur. What is noteworthy here is that the letter referred to news reports and not to verified facts from authentic sources. The very same ‘Common Cause’ filed a case in the Supreme Court later in 2010, based on which charges were filed against me… Strangely it was only the ministry officials, like Mathur who even without soliciting my approval or inputs, were responding to those letters directly and citing Government policy and Telecom Commission recommendations… Mathur, who was superannuated on 31 December 2007, had signed off on all the above files and been party to all the policy decisions related to the LoIs in his capacity as Telecom Secretary. The only piece of action that he missed was the final administrative task of actual issuance of the LoI’s which happened on 10 January 2008, post his retirement. Yet, in the subsequent court proceedings he pleaded ignorance and declared that he had nothing to do with the issuance of LoIs given his retirement date. He was possibly (?) instructed as prosecution witness to make statements which contradicted his own prior decisions but shifted blame onto me – which also says a lot about the CBI’s impartiality and integrity…

The very same people who had argued that no one outside the Telecom Ministry, including the Finance Ministry can intervene in spectrum pricing, even if the Finance Ministry could logically be thought to have a role in it, became CBI witnesses in the case against me. Yet the CBI did not bother to question the change of heart of such officials as D.S. Mathur and Mrs Manju Madhavan. I came to know that D.S. Mathur had at one point explained to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), that he was the one who had insisted that Mrs Madhavan should write the note in the file. It was only this note (which I have already elaborated upon) contradicting her own decision from just a day prior that provided the thread to the CAG to spin his yarn claiming that Raja had ignored the Finance Ministry’s advice. Unfortunately, neither the Prime Minister nor the Finance Minister came forward to explain this, or to back my legitimate position.

Mathur who retired towards the end of December 2007 was the Chairman of the Telecom Commission which on 18 October 2007 approved the recommendations of TRAI. After participating in the Telecom Commission’s meeting on that day, he wrote to the CVC that all the actions taken till then were appropriate and valid. Mathur’s contribution and the role in deciding the entry fee, determining the cut-off date, adopting FCFS and deciding the seniority of TATA Teleservices to get Dual Technology were not only significant but also valid. Yet buckling under the pressure from CBI, he changed even his justified view regarding observations on decisions taken in the DoT files. One can deny a verbal quote but how can one disavow what he has written in official government records.

‘VINOD RAI IGNORED PULOK CHATTERJEE NOTING’

Let’s consider what happened in the PMO as well. On 31 December 2007, a file was sent containing my letter of 26 December 2007 to the Prime Minister, the note of EAM sent by Pranab Mukherjee (on the decisions taken during his consultations with me and Vahanvati) and the note sent by the Telecom Ministry. The file was recorded by Pulok Chatterjee of the PMO and the three documents were placed before T.K.A. Nair the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister. After discussion, Pulok Chatterjee records on the file…

Then the file was sent to T.K.A. Nair on 6 January 2008 who also approved it the next day… On 10 January 2008, LoIs for the new licenses were issued. In the file dated 15 January 2008, recorded by Pulok Chatterjee all that had transpired was duly documented. Paragraph 23 of that note reads, “It is true that certain numbers of operators have already been issued LOIs/licenses/wireless licenses. A suggestion regarding what could be done vis-à-vis those who have been issued all three is given in paragraph 17(b). Those who have been issued only LoI so far could be considered for allocation of spectrum up to the threshold level once they fulfil all the LoI conditions. After they have fully utilised the threshold amount of spectrum, they will be eligible to bid for additional spectrum in open auction.” All these were brought to the notice of the Prime Minister and were shared with the Telecom Secretary Behura through Mrs Vini Mahajan the Joint Secretary in the PMO. Even this has been recorded in that file as, “Informally shared with the Secretary, DoT. We may keep on file…” There is no evidence to suggest that Rai made any attempt to discover this information…

According to Rai, Prime Minister asked for a deeper examination on 7 November 2007, therefore Pulok Chatterji examined it. But the information to be examined by Chatterji was in the context of a letter written by me on 26 December 2007 (a date in the future). So, Rai is alleging that the Prime Minister dreamt (on 7 November) about my letter (to be penned on 26 December) and then asked Chatterji to examine it. Chatterji’s note was initiated only on 31 December 2007…

WAS THERE PRESUMPTIVE LOSS TO EXCHEQUER?

Most atrocious was the CAG’s determination of Rs 1.76 lakh crore as presumptive revenue loss showing three different categories of losses… CAG’s “presumed loss figure” was subsequently ignored in both the charge sheet of the CBI as well as in the charges framed by the trial court… Why is the BJP not being held accountable for this (real and not presumptive) loss figure of Rs 36,993 crores as it was BJP’s Ministers Arun Shourie and Pramod Mahajan who had given away this additional spectrum for free?.. CAG arrived at Rs 1.76 lakh crore based primarily on the auction price for 3G. The CBI in its charge-sheet then ignored this and computed its own figure of Rs 30,000 crore which could have been earned by the Government for spectrum utilization as a percentage of the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR). However, the CBI had erroneously applied that calculation to the ‘bundled’ 4.4 MHz spectrum that companies had to be given with their new licenses…

‘WHY NOT BJP AND SHOURIE?’

The BJP which was now in the Opposition maintained a ‘holier than thou’ attitude and did not miss any opportunity to fan the flames of public ire. However, their memory was failing or their judgment was very impaired… The CAG report given on 28 October 1999 had pointed out a loss (real not presumptive) of Rs 1,153 crores to the exchequer when the Basic and Cellular Telephone Service Providers were migrated on 22 July 1999 (during the BJP’s reign) to NTP-99’s revenue regime… The policy decision (used from 2003-2007) to continue with entry fee from 2001 was also made during BJP’s regime. BJP was in power at the Centre when Arun Shourie in 2003 first formalized the procedure of issuing Licenses and Spectrum on FCFS basis for new licenses. Why was Arun Shourie not condemned for having violated and changed the rules then? Why only the 122 licenses issued under my ministership and not the 51 before me? Why only in 2010 is A. Raja being blamed for huge losses to the exchequer while all his actions are based on administrative decisions taken up to 2007 and have clear precedents?

ROLE OF VAHANVATI

I must now discuss the statement given by Vahanvati to the CBI that the correction in the press note was not present when the file was sent to him based on which charges were framed against me under IPC 468 and 471 for forging and tampering records. Vahanvati is no more and I have moved past my initial anguish and anger to a feeling of pity for him now… In his statement to CBI Vahanvati had said that no meeting took place between us and Pranab Mukherjee, the Chairman GoM which I had also referenced in my letter to the PM. The CBI’s charge-sheet of 2 April 2011 says that no meeting took place between Pranab Mukherjee, Vahanvati and me; whereas on 25 March 2011, on behalf of Pranab Mukherjee his Personal Secretary Manoj Pant wrote a letter to D.R. Mohanty, Deputy Secretary, Lok Sabha Secretariat (in the PAC proceedings) stating that “In November, Hon’ble PM had asked Shri Pranab Mukherjee, the External Affairs Minister to apprise himself of the issues raised by the COAI and some GSM operators challenging the criteria for allocation of addl. GSM spectrum with Shri A. Raja the then MOCIT and Shri G.E. Vahanvati, the then SG in the context of proceedings pending in the TDSAT. In this context, Shri Pranab Mukherjee held a meeting with MOCIT and the SG in the first week of December 2007.” Mukherjee had officially documented the decisions taken in that meeting and sent a copy to the Prime Minister on 26 December 2007 itself.

When Vahanvati gave testimony contrary to my statements then wasn’t it the CBI’s responsibility to verify this with Mukherjee as well? CBI relied only on the statement of Vahanvati and mentioned in the charge-sheet that no such meeting had taken place and alleged that my letter to the PM was written in order to mislead him…

‘RAJA HURT BY SUPREME COURT DECISION’

While in prison, I was disheartened and distressed on three occasions…

The third was on 2 February 2012 when the Supreme Court Bench cancelled all 122 telecom licenses issued during my tenure. Even though, I was not a party named in that case, several inappropriate accusations were directed at me. I feel deeply hurt at the manner in which this was conducted. For instance, that judgment states, “the scarce natural resource spared by the Army has been grabbed by those who enjoy money power and who have been able to manipulate the system.” In reality, not even one Mega Hertz of Spectrum was received from Defence Department (Army)…

‘FRANK TALK TO PRANAB AND OTHERS’

After my release from prison on bail on 15 May 2012, I cautiously but steadfastly continued to follow up. In July 2012, I along with T.R. Baalu met Pranab Mukherjee at his residence. The Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, Law Minister Salman Khurshid, Minister of State for Personnel and PMO Narayanasamy were also present there. I was direct and emphatic in my message to them, “I thank all of you for the consoling words. But words cannot be a medicine to the pain. The Government’s manner of conducting itself in the 2G case was completely unjustified. I wholeheartedly want the CBI to remain an autonomous body. I do not mind the imprisonment for 15 months. I still feel I had brought about a revolution in the telecom sector. That way, it is not new for history to depict a revolution as a crime. But, have you ever read the CBI charge-sheet at least once? The CBI files a charge-sheet accusing ‘Investigation reveals that no such meeting took place between accused Raja, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Solicitor General as claimed by Raja in his letter to PM.’ The Solicitor General of the Government was telling an unadulterated lie saying that the meeting did not take place at all when the same had really taken place in your office at the instance of the PM. As a consequence, I was charged for ‘forgery’. When the situation had gone to that extent why did you and the Government maintain silence and how could it be justified? Even now, I have not come to seek any favour. But, when the CBI was alleging that the PM’s advice was ignored and the advice of Finance Minister was ignored, was it not necessary for the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister to tell the CBI their views?…I was for JPC. Only your ministers were saying no to the setting up of JPC. You were not even having people to watch what was happening in the JPC. I would like to say humbly just one thing. Some of you might have considered that it was politically prudent to think that there was nothing wrong in sending an individual Raja to prison in order to save an institution called the Government. Such thinking is flawed as sacrificing the individual would lead to the institution itself being taken to the sacrificial altar.”

Extracted with permission from 2G Saga Unfolds by Andimuthu Raja, Har-Anand Publications Pvt Ltd, Pages 222, Price Rs 795. The book will be available for purchase online at www.haranandbooks.com

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