He claims cover-up bid to protect Karunanidhi’s family
Prashant Bhushan of the Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday sought a probe into “fresh evidence” in the 2G scam that he claimed suggested cover-up attempts to protect family members of the former Chief Minister, M. Karunanidhi, who are accused in the case.
Mr. Bhushan’s campaign to uncover the 2G scam predates the AAP, but his claim has given the party’s anti-corruption drive a new momentum.
At a press conference on Tuesday, at which another AAP leader Yogendra Yadav was present, Mr. Bhushan claimed that DMK chief M. Karunanidhi was “fully in know of things.” He also alleged the involvement of a Tata subsidiary company.
Mr. Bhushan, who had filed a PIL in the Supreme Court in the 2G spectrum scam, said he would soon upload tapes containing conversations between important “stakeholders.”
Claiming that the tapes said to date back to February-March 2011 “shed new light on the scam,” he sought a thorough probe into “fresh evidence.”
Mr. Bhushan played a tape of a purported conversation between Jaffer Sait, then Tamil Nadu Additional DGP (Intelligence), and Sharad Kumar of Kalaignar Television Pvt Ltd, in which they seem to be talking about backdating some documents to reportedly cover-up alleged irregularities. He released to the media transcript of four pieces of purported conversations “ostensibly recorded from the Nokia phone of one of the stakeholders.” Although Mr. Bhushan accepted that there had been no forensic analysis of the tapes, he claimed that the conversations in the audio tapes were “free flowing” and “appeared authentic.”
Answering questions, he said he would submit them as evidence in the 2G spectrum case but “wanted to bring before janata [people] the involvement of key stakeholders.”
PTI reported a Tata Sons spokesperson as saying that “allegations that are being made against Tata companies have been repeatedly looked into and investigated by the authorities concerned. These have found that the conduct of Tata entities has been above board. We reiterate that the business transactions of Tata companies are bona fide and in line with the Group’s Code of Conduct and commitment to ethical standards.”