Updated: October 30, 2009 17:13 IST

Allegation of corruption is not proof: Pranab

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Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. File photo.
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. File photo.

In the face of controversy over Telecom Minister A Raja's role in spectrum allocation, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said allegation of corruption is not a proof.

Asked if he was giving a clean chit to Telecom Minister A Raja, whose department has come under scanner over awarding licences to new players, and whether the UPA coalition is winking at corruption, he said, "I am not talking of that. In coalition, there is no coalition in corruption."

Replying to a question on Mr Raja's claim that he was being singled out on decisions made collectively in spectrum allocation, he said, "First of all I want to point out that allegation of corruption does not mean that it is a proof of corruption."

On the issue of CBI investigation, he cited a case of a top PSU executive and a technocrat saying he was arrested by CBI and bail was refused to him but finally it was found that "nothing happened there but the damage caused to the reputation of the man has not been repaired. That means that you have to be careful."

The CBI has searched offices of Department of Telecom and offices of many telecom players alleging irregularities in awarding licences and allocation of spectrum to nine new operators in January 2008.

Mr Raja, however, has claimed that licences were awarded in accordance with the recommendations of telecom regulator TRAI and no wrong was done by his department.

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