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In a clear bid to obstruct adoption of the draft report pinning the 2G blame on DMK leader A Raja for “misleading” the PM, DMK leader T R Baalu has written to JPC chairman P C Chacko saying crucial documents need to be examined.
Baalu said the Centre’s detailed affidavits in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court provide “ample justification for the actions of the department of telecom” under Raja. He wants relevant officials to be examined.
“A bare reading of these affidavits will show that the DoT has fully explained and justified its position on various issues…As such it has become necessary to examine these and examine officers who prepared the documents,” Baalu’s letter said.
Raja has maintained that the PM and Chidambaram were in the loop with regard to all aspects of 2G policy ranging from entry fees, cut-off dates and eligibility of applicants and the first come, first serve policy.
The DMK letter complicates Chacko’s bid to adopt the report at a JPC meeting called on September 23 where he may need to use his casting vote to tilt the scales against the Opposition. But DMK’s posture can hurt this delicate calculation.
Congress circles feel the adoption of the joint parliamentary committee report before the approaching assembly and Lok Sabha polls will fortify its defence against the Opposition charge that the 2G buck did not stop with Raja.
Baalu’s intent, however, seems aimed at ensuring Raja and DMK do not become the sole political “victims” in the scam as the draft holds the former telecom minister responsible for misrepresenting facts and betraying assurances of transparency made to the PM.
Baalu pointedly refers to a HC affidavit being “duly settled” by attorney general G E Vahanvati, then solicitor general. The emphasis is significant as Raja bitterly contests Vahanvati’s claim of having fraudulently altered a crucial eligibility condition.
The DMK leader has specifically called for DoT documents that allegedly defend the issuance of the controversial press note that Raja has been accused of tampering.
Another affidavit filed by DoT in the Supreme Court, the letter said, covers all policy matters. He has also asked for correspondence exchanged between CAG and DoT on entry fee – held to be too low by the auditor – and eligibility.
Chacko told TOI that he is not clear if these documents are in possession of the committee or are even relevant. He said he is keen that the JPC does not drag on its proceedings and the draft report is put before the panel for adoption.