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Attorney General G E Vahanvati told a Delhi court that it was not within his “province” to file a complaint with regard to anything wrong in the DoT’s press release for issuance of LoIs for 2G spectrum as it was upto the department to issue the statement.

Vahanvati, who was deposing as a prosecution witness in 2G spectrum allocation scam case, said he was only supposed to give his opinion on the draft press release as sought by the Department of Telecom (DoT) and it was not for him to tell the department as to “what they did was wrong”.

“First of all, I was required to give an opinion. There was no question of my recording that the press release was wrongly issued or that there was scoring off, because as I have explained above even if I had seen a draft in a particular form, it was open to them to issue press release in whatever manner they (DoT) decided.

“It was not within my province to record any complaint in this behalf in the file or otherwise,” Vahanvati told Special CBI Judge O P Saini during his cross examination by advocate Vijay Aggarwal, appearing for former Telecom Minister A Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia.

Concluding his two-day deposition, Vahanvati, who was the Solicitor General when the alleged scam had broken out, agreed that the DoT file containing the altered press release as well as the actual one was again sent to him on February 29, 2008 for his opinion but “when the file came to me, I had seen the draft press release in a particular form and this did not mean that after I gave my view, DoT could not alter the press note.

“If they did, it was for them to do so. It was not for me to tell them as to what they did was wrong. I only answered the question as to what I saw on January 7, 2008.”

Vahanvati’s statement assumes significance as the CBI, in its charge sheet, has alleged that Raja, in conspiracy with co-accused and former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, had “fraudulently portrayed” to the DoT that the amended draft of the press release regarding issuance of letters of intent (LoIs) to the telecom firms had the consent of the then Solicitor General Vahanvati.

 

PTI


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