Shourie slams Patil report on 2G scam

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Mumbai, Feb 8 (PTI) Trashing the report on 2G scam byJustice Shivraj Patil, former Telecom Minister Arun Shourietoday accused Union Minister Kapil Sibal of trying to saveA Raja by functioning as his advocate.

"Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal is an advocate of A Raja.

He always tried to save Raja by saying that he had informedeverything to the Prime Minister," Shourie told reportershere.

Shourie said the report by the former judge appointedby the government in December is a complete misrepresentationand distortion and it only helps the government.

The report had said all procedures followed by theNDA government in 2003 as also by the UPA government till 2008were not transparent and that it was not done in a fairmanner.

"Sibal is lying," Shourie said, adding former TelecomMinister Raja changed the priority list for spectrumallocation in 2008 and advanced the cut-off date to helpcertain companies.

"A handpicked judge gives the report to the governmentwhich is so convenient that they can derail the issue. It is aperversity. How can documents be suppressed," he said,blasting the report and Sibal.

"I have the documents which were suppressed and notplaced before the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General),"Shourie said.

The CAG has estimated the financial loss to theexchequer in the allocation of 2G spectrum licences by Raja,now under CBI custody, at Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

He said while "Justice Patil says we (the BJP regime)deviated from TRAI recommendation, actually every single TRAIrecommendation was adhered to by us in letter and spirit."

"On every single matter of this we consulted TRAI andacted accordingly. This was done in consultation with theFinance Ministry. Member, Finance was sitting on everymeeting. His signatures are on every decision including first-come, first-serve," he said.

On the charge of wrongdoing in distributing spectrumduring NDA regime, Shourie countered it saying, "This was notManmohan Singh cabinet that the Ministry could do anything. Itwas Atal Behari Vajpayee''s cabinet. You could not do onemilimetre more than what Cabinet has decided."

The CBI arrested Raja on February 2 in connection withits probe in the 2G scam.

"Sibal gives half truths. He is not the advocate of thegovernment. He is advocate of Raja and with every pressconference he holds to protect Raja and implicates PM."

Shourie, however said, that he did not agree with theestimate of the CAG on the losses incurred to the exchequer on2G..

"Sibal has said that Raja had kept PM fully informed of every decision. In that case what was Manmohan Singh doingfor the last six and half years when the loot was going on?,asked Shourie.

He said Raja had suddenly preponed date for acceptingapplications for spectrum licenses which was fixed for Octoberone, 2008.

"He (Raja) does not disclose that they changed thebasis of first-come-first serve...It will not be the date ofapplication but the date on which the letter of intent wasfulfilled. Among the conditions were that you bring Rs 1,650crore by bank draft within 41 minutes," he said.

There was "misrepresentation" facts in the Patilreport which Shourie termed as a "fabrication" by Sibal.

Justice Patil was appointed in December to scrutinizethe procedure relating to 2G spectrum allocation. Raja wasforced to resign in the wake of the CAG report and Sibalasked to look after the key ministry.

The Patil report said that there has been notransparent decision in the allocation of spectrum since 2003.

It blamed the NDA government, of which Shourie was a part, forintroducing faulty policies, including the first-come-first-serve policy for companies who applied for spectrum.

Shourie also hit out at Patil, who conducted a probeinto the spectrum allocation.

"Such a report (Patil''s report) brings the judiciaryinto disrepute. I know this is a serious statement and I am agreat votary of powers and esteem for judiciary. But such afabrication, such a performance brings the judiciary intodisrepute," Shourie alleged.

He alleged that Patil had drawn his conclusionswithout examining any of the players involved or going throughall the relevant documents.

"This is an unheard procedure that you hand-pick ajudge and he decides not to examine anybody. He decides to goby only the documents handed over to him by a department ledby an advocate like Kapil Sibal who is fabricating the case indefence of Raja," Shourie alleged.

He also expressed surprise at the revelations made inmedia reports about allocation of 70 MHz of S-band spectrum.

"I can''t imagine 70 MHz. People kill each other on oneMHz or to go from 4.4 MHz to 6.6 MHz," he said.

Shourie also criticised the procedure adopted by thegovernment in selecting Patil for the panel.

In its report submitted to the government earlier thismonth, the one-man Patil committee that examined spectrumallocation since 2001 had virtually dragged the earlier NDAgovernment into the controversy, saying there had beenviolations of procedures in giving 2G licences.

It had also pointed a finger at Raja, saying hisactions in 2007-08 were not consistent with Cabinet decisions.

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