In the Supreme Court today, A Raja presented a spirited defence of the decisions that have landed him in Tihar jail. The consequence of this decision was that two Indian companie were able to sell the licences and Mr. Raja granted very cheaply to them a massive profit to foreign investors. Mr. Raja said in the court that the Prime Minister and then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram were aware of this. He stated in the court that the Finance Minister had approved the sale in the presence of the PM and let the PM deny it.
Mr. Raja was arrested in November for selling moblie network licences abd 2G spectrum while he was the Telecom Minister in the year 2008 to the companies that were not eligible.the two alleged companies in the scam were Unitech Wireless and DB Realty, then sold equity to foreign companies- Telenor in the case of Unitech Wireless and Etisalat in the case of DB Realty and subsequently the Indian companies had made huge profits out of it.
In the court today, he defended himself stating that he did not do any crime as Telenor buying stake in Unitch Wireless and Etisalat buying stake in DB Realty was totally legal as per the corporate law. Also added that the Finance Minister had approved the sale in the presence of the PM. And stated that what the telecom companies do after he gives them the spectrum is not his domain.
Like his party, the DMK, Mr. A. Raja has stressed that he followed the policies intoduced by his predecessors in the NDA government that was in power till 2004, when the UPA coalition was elected.
However, P. Chidambaram, who was the then Finance Minister when India's Telecom scam played out in 2008, refused to comment on A Raja saying that A Raja could not be held liable for the foreign partners who were roped into by two Indian companies after he awarded them mobile network licences.
But, answering questions, P Chidambaram told the reporters that there was no sale of spectrum by Unitech and Swan Telecom to foreign partners, instead they were issued fresh shares by promoters. And this was discussed in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Mr. Chidambaram also stated that his ministry's examination of th matter was limited to whether Swan Telecom and Unitech were divesting stake through fresh equity.