The former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, on Tuesday claimed that he had never authorised any person to speak or negotiate with judges on his behalf in any case, after the Madras High Court suspended from the bar a top lawyer for allegedly attempting to influence a judge by taking Mr. Raja's name.
“I have faith in judiciary as a lawyer and citizen. I never interfered with the judiciary. I never authorised any person, including [suspended Chairman of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry] R.K. Chandramohan, to speak or negotiate on my behalf with any judge in any case,” Mr. Raja, who quit the Cabinet in the wake of the 2G spectrum scam, told PTI.
“In public life, I have friends and supporters, but I never attempted interfering with the judicial process through someone.”
Asked if he was on the line when Mr. Chandramohan handed over the phone to Justice R. Reghupati, the DMK leader said: “I was not on the line. I am not aware of it.”
Mr. Raja claimed that he had, for the first time, heard through the High Court judgment that his name had been “dragged” in the case.
“As a lawyer and as a former Minister, I know about the independence of the judiciary under the Constitution. I have never worked to break the Constitution. I am a law-abiding citizen. Whether I am a Minister or not, the law is supreme.”
On his name cropping up in Justice Reghupati's letter, Mr. Raja said: “That is upto Justice Reghupati... I am not a party to anything.... he never said I spoke with him.”
Maintaining that he was person of “integrity,” Mr. Raja said: “I have my own defamation case before the Madras High Court [against a magazine]. When my interim application for a stay in the case was dismissed with cost, I preferred to appeal to a Division Bench which gave an order in my favour. This shows my integrity.”
He refused to comment on the 2G scam spectrum allocation case, saying the matter was sub judice.
The Division Bench of the High Court appended a portion of a letter written by Justice Reghupati, who had reported that Mr. Chandramohan pleaded that the case of a father and son, accused in a criminal case for anticipatory bail be considered favourably as they were “family friends of a Union Minister by name Raja.”