The CBI special court hearing the 2G spectrum scam case on Saturday reserved its order for December 8 on complainant Subramanian Swamy's plea to summon witnesses to strengthen his arguments for impleading the then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram along with the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, as accused for allegedly acting in collusion to dole out the UAS licences at 2001 prices.
Arguing his case before Special Judge O.P. Saini, Dr. Swamy alleged that the duo further colluded in granting clearance to the dilution of equity by the two telecom companies, Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless, which had been awarded the UAS licences and the 2G spectrum, to two foreign companies, thereby allowing the licensees to rake in huge profits.
Dr. Swamy also claimed that these two foreign companies, Etisalat and Telenor, were “blacklisted” by the Union Home Ministry and that Mr. Chidambaram, as the then Finance Minister and later as Home Minister, failed to prevent their entry into the Indian telecom sector.
Among the documents Dr. Swamy submitted in court were letters written by Mr. Chidambaram and Mr. Raja, and the Finance and Telecom Ministry notes. The witnesses he wanted summoned include a senior CBI and Telecom official. He also thanked the judge for ordering the CBI to grant him a certified copy of the DoT file, which contained these letters and notes.
“Mr. Raja was not empowered to decide alone on the UAS licence price and dilution of equity. The Finance Minister and the Telecom Minister had to jointly decide,” said Dr. Swamy as he began his arguments.
“Mr. Raja has recorded in files and in a press note that it was Mr. Chidambaram who told him to allow dilution of equity by Unitech Wireless and Swan Telecom. There was a meeting of minds between Mr. Raja and Mr. Chidambaram on awarding of the UAS licences at 2001 prices. Two companies — Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless — were sold to companies blacklisted by the Home Ministry. It was Mr. Chidambaram's responsibility first as the Finance Minister, and later as the Home Minister, to bring this to the Cabinet's attention,” Dr. Swamy submitted. “The charges you [Mr. Saini] framed against Mr. Raja would apply equally to Mr. Chidambaram…I have made out a prima facie case that the pricing was a joint decision.”