Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy alleged on Saturday that there was “active connivance” between the then Union Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, and the then Telecom Minister, A. Raja, in the decision to fix the entry fee and spectrum charges in 2008 at the 2001 “nominal” rates and to allow Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless to offload shares to Etisalat and Telenor before the rollout of services.
He was making his deposition on his complaint in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case in the special court here.
After he read out the charges related to the spectrum pricing at the 2001 rates and offloading of shares framed by Special Judge O.P. Saini against Mr. Raja, Dr. Swamy said: “I further state that accused A. Raja alone could not be guilty of these charges, but he committed these offences with the active connivance of P. Chidambaram, at present Home Minister.”
Dr. Swamy said Mr. Raja and Mr. Chidambaram were “empowered” by a Cabinet decision on October 31, 2003 to determine the spectrum price jointly and “Mr. Chidambaram was aware of this empowerment.”
In this connection, Dr. Swamy referred to a January 15, 2008 letter written by Mr. Chidambaram to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after Letters of Intent were issued; a letter Mr. Chidambaram wrote to Mr. Raja on April 21, 2008, seeking a meeting; an office memorandum by the Finance Ministry dated March 25, 2011, which alludes to Mr. Chidambaram's role; and the Prime Minister's statement in the Rajya Sabha on February 24, 2011.
“In pursuance of this empowerment, the two Ministers … met on four occasions. The first three [meetings were held on] January 30, 2008, May 29, 2008, June 12, 2008, and then subsequently after [an] agreement was reached and meeting of minds took place, they met the Prime Minister together on July 4, 2008 and conveyed their agreement on the question of price,” he deposed.
Mr. Saini asked Dr. Swamy to place on record certified copies of certain documents he relied on, and he agreed to do so at the next hearing.
The court deferred further recording of Dr. Swamy's statement to January 7.