AAP raises fresh questions on Manish Tewari's retainership fee

New Delhi, Dec 19: Stepping up its attack, the AAP on Friday raised fresh questions over the retainership fee received by telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and former minister Manish Tewari from Reliance Industries when they were lawyers and accused them of not revealing "full facts".

A day after noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan raised the issue of conflict of interest against them, AAP leader Yogendra Yadav asked why the minister has still not issued a notice to Reliance Jio in a 4G matter.

AAP targets Manish Tewari

Yadav queried whether Prasad had revealed his "pecuniary interest", in the 'Register of Members' Interests', a mandatory practice in Rajya Sabha. "The telecom minister has also revealed facts that are half-truths. He says that he was not associated with Reliance Industries, but the company (Fine Tech Corporation Pvt Ltd) has around 70 per cent stakes in two Reliance holding companies.

Also, the directors of the company are also on boards of many other Reliance companies," he added. There was no reaction from Prasad or his office today. Yesterday, Prasad said he had never given any advice or appeared for RIL.

"Fine Tech is a different corporate entity to whom legal services were rendered. Giving legal advice or retainership to companies is quite common with lawyers particularly with eminent lawyers. "As regards allegation about Reliance 4G issue (is concerned), every decision will be taken purely objectively on merits and in light of final report of CAG," the telecom minister had said.

Yadav also alleged that Tewari had "lied" and hid facts before the Joint Parliamentary Committee that he was not representing any telecom company since 2005, but on the other hand, he was getting retainership fees from a Reliance Industries until 2012, which is involved in the telecom sector since 2010.

In his response yesterday, Tewari admitted that he received retainership fees from Reliance Industries and had also written to then chairperson of the Joint Parliamentary Committee P C Chako that he represented telecom companies including Reliance Infocomm during the period covered by JPC investigation.

"The response, which has been provided is comprehensive, holistic and covers all the necessary ingredients, important in the context of the public space. If this gentleman of the AAP refuses to see the obvious, then I am afraid I can only sympathise with him," Tewari said.


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