2G case: Raja pleads for making HM a witness

New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister A Raja on Tuesday pleaded before a court that the then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram be made a witness in the 2G spectrum case and also said he has not sought to implicate Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Home Minister in the matter.

The 47-year-old DMK MP, who is behind bars for nearly six months, also sought his “forthwith release” terming his judicial custody as an “illegal detention.”

Mr. Raja’s counsel Sushil Kumar made the submissions before Special Judge O.P. Saini while opposing the framing of corruption and other penal charges against him for his alleged role in the scam on the second day of arguments.

Seeking a direction to CBI to make Mr. Chidambaram a witness in the case, Mr. Raja said the former Finance Minister was privy to the matter relating to dilution of equities by Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless to foreign firms, Etisalat and Telenor, respectively.

“The matters relating to dilution of equities to foreign firms by Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless were known to the Prime Minister and then Finance Minister Chidambaram,” Mr. Raja said.

Mr. Raja clarified that his statement on Monday about Dr. Manmohan Singh and Mr. Chidambaram being aware of the dilution of shares by telecom firms did not amount to making any allegation against them.

“I am defending myself and not accusing anything against anybody. I am not after anybody,” he said.

“I did not seek to implicate the Prime Minister and the then Finance Minister in the 2G case,” Mr. Raja said while attempting to shift the blame on media.

“They (media) cannot put words in my mouth. Ask them to report truthfully or go out of the court room,” he said.