New Delhi, Jul 25 :Former Telecom Minister A Raja today defended himself against corruption charges in the 2G scam, saying he had not done anything wrong and was merely following the policies pursued by his predecessors and the NDA government.
The 47-year-old DMK MP pleaded before Special CBI Judge O P Saini that there was nothing wrong in his decision of not auctioning 2G spectrum as he had “implemented only what I have inherited.”
Senior Advocate Sushil Kumar, appearing for Raja, said if Raja is being prosecuted for following a certain policy then all Telecom ministers since 1993 are liable to be prosecuted as they too followed the same policy. “If policy pursued by me was wrong, then all former Telecom ministers since 1993 should also be in jail with me (Raja),” the counsel said while opposing framing of charges against Raja.
He said, “As Telecom Minster Arun Shourie distributed 26 licences while Dayanidhi Maran distributed 25 and I (Raja) distributed 122 licences. Numbers make no difference, however, it is to be noted that none of them auctioned the spectrum. “If they had done no wrong, why am I being questioned? Let them deny that they have not done what I did. I was just following the 2003 Cabinet decision that is not to auction 2G spectrum. If I am following the law, I am not liable to be prosecuted. Infact, I should be rewarded,” Raja said.
While defending his policy as telecom minister, Raja submitted that it is because of his policy that mobile phone call rates came down and they became affordable to even a ‘rickshaw wala'.
“It was my obligation to social justice that every man on the street should have a mobile phone. I am a servant of my people and I made the call rates of mobile phone so cheap that even a ‘rickshaw wala' or a maid servant can be seen using it,” Raja said.
Raja, who was arrested on February 2 for his alleged role in the 2G scam, today began his arguments opposing charges of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy against him.
The arguments are still continuing.CBI had begun its arguments on framing of charges against Raja and 16 others, including three telecom firms, from July 21 and had completed its arguments on July 23.All the 14 accused including DMK MP Kanimozhi are presently lodged in Tihar Jail. PTI