In new trouble for Home Minister P Chidambaram, some of the letters he exchanged with former Telecom Minister A Raja are to be shared now with a petitioner who wants Mr Chidambaram to share responsibility for the telecom scam.
Subramaniam Swamy, who is the Janta Party President and has devoted his time and attention recently to pushing for action in the telecom case, says the file with these letters was deliberately withheld from court by the CBI.
In 2008, when Mr Raja was Telecom Minister and allegedly used his office to orchestrate India’s biggest swindle, Mr Chidambaram was Finance Minister.
Mr Raja has been arrested; the CBI is handling the case against him and 13 others accused of criminal conspiracy. The Supreme Court is monitoring the CBI’s investigation; and a special court headed by Judge OP Saini is handling the trial.
Two of the companies allegedly favoured by Mr Raja – Swan and Unitech Wireless – diluted equity soon after they got mobile network licenses at throwaway prices from Mr Raja.
By bringing on board foreign partners, they made profits worth thousands of crores.
The government has said these transactions were legitimate, but the CBI has disagreed. Experts have also said that the fact that foreign firms paid such huge amounts for their equity proves that the licenses had been deliberately under-valued by Mr Raja to help companies like Swan.
Judge Saini has ordered the CBI to provide to Subramanian Swamy a copy of all the correspondence between Mr Chidambaram and Mr Raja ahead of the two companies being permitted to dilute their equity. Mr Swamy is one of the main petitioners in the telecom case. He has also asked the CBI to formally investigate Mr Chidambaram’s role -a request the Supreme Court has yet to take a final call on.
“I found out that there was a file which CBI did not hand over to the Court. It implicates PC,” tweeted Mr Swamy, referring to Mr Chidambaram.
Mr Raja has argued in his defence in court that all his actions and policies were sanctioned by Mr Chidambaram.