Give Raja a chance to explain, DMK tells JPC

The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on spectrum allocations is again caught in a controversy over summoning witnesses. The Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) has reiterated its demand that former Telecom Minister A. Raja be allowed to appear before the panel. Panel Chairman P.C. Chacko, said there was near unanimity in the panel that it could now start writing the report. Chacko, however, did not rule out the possibility of summoning Raja. He said there were certain “practical difficulties” and he would hold informal discussions with members before reaching a conclusion. Chacko said he would try to “convince” the DMK members that all evidences were before the panel and there was no need to summon more witnesses. What has irked the DMK is the statement from Attorney General G.E Vahanavati, in the JPC that Raja belied his trust. The party has also demanded summoning Swan Telecom’s Shahid Balwa, a key accused in the case. “If Raja is to be called, he will be the last witness. If DMK agrees on not calling him, then today we have concluded calling witnesses before JPC and we would focus on writing the report,” Chacko said. The panel was supposed to submit the report before April so that it could be taken up for discussion during the second lap of the budget session.

Eye-opener for CBI

Chacko said the CBI director, Ranjit Sinha, told the panel that the episode that resulted in the removal of the prosecutor in the 2G case, A.K Singh, was an eye-opener for the agency. Sinha also said that the taped conversations between CBI prosecutor, A.K. Singh and Unitech Managing Director, Sanjay Chandra, was handed over to a CBI DIG by a source. Members of the JPC have asked the CBI director to verify the veracity of the “source.” The CBI director also told the panel that none of the Government agencies were involved in tapping the conversation.]]>