Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium Wednesday said that former telecom minister A. Raja should have given a ‘lot more serious consideration’ to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s letter expressing reservations on the allocation of 2G spectrum on 2001 prices.
He said this after an apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Ashok Kumar Ganguly asked him to give his opinion on the manner the prime minister’s letter to Raja should have been responded to.’It should have been given the highest degree of consideration,’ the solicitor general said, adding that ‘it should have been considered more seriously’.
The Solicitor General said this in the course of the hearing of a petition by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) seeking apex court monitoring of the CBI investigations into the 2G spectrum scam.’The prime minister did raise substantive reservations and made many points’ in his letter to Raja, the Solicitor General told the court.
The court was told that the prime minister’s letter to Raja was in context of the law ministry advice that the pricing of 2G spectrum be referred to an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM).It may be recalled that it was the Department of Telecom (DoT) that had sought the advice of the law ministry, which it (DoT) later described as ‘out of context’.
The court said the government was not a private agency. Its actions have to be backed by reasons. While not appreciating the way Raja tried to overlook the prime minister’s letter, the court said, ‘Overlooking the prime minister was not something very… and this reflects in the CAG report and is replete with such references.’
The court also observed that the government functions on the principles of collective responsibility, and referring to Mahatma Gandhi, said that purity of means would alone justify the ends.