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Updated: April 28, 2011 09:39 IST

Draft PAC report slams Raja for ‘dubious designs'

Neena Vyas
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Public Accounts Committee Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi. The Committee on Wednesday circulated its draft report on 2G scam, but the government dismissed it saying it was not a report of PAC but that of Mr. Joshi. File photo
The Hindu Public Accounts Committee Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi. The Committee on Wednesday circulated its draft report on 2G scam, but the government dismissed it saying it was not a report of PAC but that of Mr. Joshi. File photo

The draft report of the Public Accounts Committee on the 2G spectrum allocation scandal comes down heavily on the former Communications Minister, A. Raja, for not heeding the Prime Minister's advice, for ignoring the Law and Justice Ministry's suggestion that a group of Ministers be set up to examine issues related to grant of telecom licences and related matters, for not properly consulting the Telecom Commission and, above all, for arbitrarily changing cut-off dates for the first come, first served policy adopted for grant of licences and spectrum.

Report ‘leaked'

The report was “leaked” a day ahead of Thursday's meeting, when it is to be considered by members and adopted, even as charges were levelled by Congress and DMK members of the committee that chairman M.M. Joshi had shown his “malafide and mischievous intention by giving completely false information on witnesses that had deposed before the PAC.” Their allegation was that the report had in fact been written before April 16, well before the committee completed its work, as was clear from “serious mistakes and falsehoods that had appeared.”

They said they wanted the draft report considered paragraph by paragraph and wanted time to give their response or enough discussion time to enable them to arrive at consensus and a unanimous report. Led by K.S. Rao, they pointed out that the draft report mentioned deposition by key witnesses — the Cabinet Secretary and the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister — on April 16 when in fact that meeting stood cancelled. A similar “mistake and untruth” appeared in relation to the April 15 meeting, they charged.

At the very outset, the 270-page report said: “The Prime Minister was, in fact, misled when he was informed by the Minister [A. Raja] that the issue of auction of spectrum was considered, but not recommended, by the Telecom Commission.” Also, the Committee was “highly perturbed” that the “considered and imperative advice given by the Prime Minister… in his letter dated 2nd November 2007 to the then Minister of Communications was just disregarded by him.”

“Not convinced”

However, the Prime Minister and his office have not been entirely spared. By keeping the PMO at “arm's length” from the 2G spectrum issue, he had helped the Minister “execute his unfair and dubious designs,” the report noted. It said the PMO failed to note the forebodings or was “rendered a mute spectator.” The report said the PAC was “not convinced” that the PMO did not receive any suggestion from the Law Ministry that a GoM be set up. It seemed that the “counter-view of the Communications Minister got the overriding preference.”

While noting the “presumptive loss” to the exchequer as calculated variously by the Comptroller and Auditor-General and the Central Bureau of Investigation from Rs. 40,000 crore to Rs. 1,76,000 crore, the draft report observed with dismay that the Finance Ministry had made no effort to arrive at any estimate of the losses suffered. The report finds fault with the Finance Minister [at that time P. Chidambaram] for not taking swift action against those who had caused a huge loss to the exchequer and instead pleading with the Prime Minister to “treat the matter as closed.”

The draft report uses some very strong language against Mr. Raja — chargesheeted, and now in jail — saying “his assurance to the Prime Minister that he was not deviating from established and existing procedures was a blatant lie for, he had completely distorted the first come, first served policy [of the earlier government].”

Vahanvati pulled up

The committee had some harsh words for the Solicitor-General (G.E. Vahanvati, now Attorney-General) who, it said, bypassing the Law Ministry, had directly given an opinion to the Ministry of Communications that what it proposed to do (in allocation of licences) was “fair and reasonable” and made for “transparency.” The same person, now as Attorney-General, is of the opinion that a Minister should not directly ask the Law Officer for his opinion. This was also stated categorically by the Law Secretary deposing before the committee.

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The Congress and DMK members will never accept the report. The whole country knows they are the culprit, all fraud on 2G is done by them. How can they give unanimous decision and accept something which is not there in their party's favour? As head of the PAC, Dr. MM Joshi has all rights to prepare the draft and publish the same. The report is very fair and I appreciate his report and his courage that he has gone and prepared the draft even without the willingness of DMK and Congress. The Congress and DMK never want to continue PAC or any other committee working and want to pass on telling JPC will take care. Every institution has its responsibilities and they need to complete and you just cannot exit by doing half work and telling other committee will work on. You are paid by our Tax money. They also tried to derail Anna's Lokpal committee by indirect means.

from:  Abhay
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 11:32 IST

CURRUPTION
____________

Corruptions and progress are Antonyms.
Non corruption and progress are Synonyms.
Don’t we need synonyms for our country?

Corruption and donkey are synonyms.
Noncurruption and milking cow are synonyms.
Which synonym we choose out of these two?


Corrupt is a SWINE.
Noncurruption is SWAN.
Which do you choose?


Corrupt is murderer..
Non corrupt is savior.
Who, you would like to become?

Corrupt is irresponsible.
Noncurruption is highly responsible.
Who do you want to become.


Corrupt is thief.
Noncurruption is gentleman.
Who do you want to become.

Laxminarayana Paladi


from:  Laxminarayana Paladi
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 09:20 IST

All said and done, the report gave fair status of the situation prevailing during the Raja regime. Failure of PMO is PM's failure. A cartoon as described below in our newspaper would be more apt: "A horse drawn carriage (jutka in Tamil) with horse's eyes closed depicted as PM and the judkawallas Pranob Mukherjee, Raja, Chidambaram etc sitting in the cart whipping the PM to run fast"

from:  C S Padmaanabhan
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 09:18 IST

In the investigations on a mega scam like the 2G scam, the CBI has been able so far to trace the trail of only Rs.200 crores of the suspected illicit big money. Even here, its claim that the TV channel owned by the Karunanidhi family had received this money will face a challenge in court since the channel says that it can show that it was only a loan which has since been returned. Clearly a drama is being enacted to divert attention from the government's failure or disinclination to identify all the schemers, designers, perpetrators and beneficiaries of the mother of all scams. Media's concentration of its attention on only Mr.Raja and the DMK has made it easy for the government to have its way. So much for the crusade against corruption!

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 07:59 IST

Rather than accepting the serious flaws and deliberate deviations from his own declared policy in regard to allocation of spectrum by the then Communication Minister and its own complicity, the Congress and its leaders seek to blame the PAC for highlighting them in the report. As the then Minister threw to the wind all the rules of business, the UPA Government stood a mute witness to all that knowing full well that wrongs were being perpetrated and the exchequer was being defrauded. The UPA Government led by the Congress were compelled to act under the relentless pressure applied by the Supreme Court, and half-heartedly now claim credit for initiating law into motion without accepting its responsibility for making this fraud happen in the first instance. It is altogether different matter that all political parties in power have similarly committed frauds of one kind or other, worse or otherwise. That may not justify the enormity of the frauds that happened in the 2nd UPA tenure. The Government led by the Congress cannot take refuge in the 'frauds' elsewhere to defend the indefensible frauds as now happening whether these be Adarsh Building Complex, Commonwealth Games, in refusing to ban Endosulfan or illegal foreign bank deposits by a handful persons close to powers that be, to cite a few examples. It is better for our country if PM leads the enormous efforts needed to cleanse the system without fear or favour because, despite some failure, he seems one of the few leaders left with any credibility to take the fight against corruption to its logical end.

from:  P Balachandran
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 07:54 IST

Those who are asking PAC Chairman to resign for the leakages shows their indifference to public perception. Here is a Cabinet and a party and a coalition that has caused a loss of thousands of crores to the exchequer. And the members of these parties have audacity to try and divert the attention of people from the real issue. If these members have any sense of dignity, all they should say is sorry and resign enmasse.

from:  Maj KCS Reddy
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 07:52 IST

Coalition governments should be banned as per the constitution. If no party gets a majority there must be a reelection.If this happens 3 times in succession then we must have martial law for a year and then hold the next election.By this way we will eliminate regional parties who are creating havoc in our country. Coalition politics is one of the major factors which leads to corruption.

from:  S N Iyer
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 07:13 IST

The PAC draft report castigates A.Raja,for not heeding the Prime Minister's advice, for ignoring the Law and Justice Ministry's suggestion that a group of Ministers be set up to examine issues related to grant of telecom licences and related matters, for not properly consulting the Telecom Commission and, above all, for arbitrarily changing cut-off dates for the first come, first served policy adopted for grant of licences and spectrum. If PAC's findings are true the blame should directly fall on the Prime Minister and the Cabinet also for their failure to prevent Mr.Raja from doing all that he is accused of having done. They cannot escape blame by taking the stand that Mr.Raja did not keep them informed or he did not do things as advised by them because it would mean that the government is not working cohesively, a determined minister can do whatever he wants, including selling national assets at throw-away prices, without any oversight by the PM and the the cabinet.

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 06:19 IST

This kind of major issue had taken place in Telecom ministryl; It will not take much time for similar incidents to take place in the Defence ministry. PM and PMO are mere spectators with no action so far. The post of PM has come down to the same level as that of the President (Rubber stamp). It is pathetic that only in India alone a foreigner can be at the highest helm of position- above even the PM, though unofficially, possible.

from:  Velumani
Posted on: Apr 28, 2011 at 00:51 IST
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