NEW DELHI: Former telecom minister A Raja and ex-telecom secretary Siddharth Behura will be summoned to depose before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) examining the 2G scam. "We have decided to call Raja and Behura. While the date for Raja's appearance is not yet decided, Behura will be summoned on April 11," JPC Chairman PC Chacko said on Wednesday after the committee's meeting.
Since Behura is lodged in Tihar jail, the parliamentary panel will write to the prison authorities to present the former Telecom Secretary before it. The JPC had earlier written to Tihar authorities to present Behura before it for which the CBI court had granted permission in July last year. But he was never actually summoned by the panel.
Sources said the JPC decided to summon Raja as it wanted to find out the alleged "illegality" committed by the former telecom minister. "Some officials who appeared before the committee have agreed that Raja followed the advice of DoT and officials in deciding on the first-come-first-served policy, the procedure to be adopted and vetting of applications. Therefore it is necessary to find out the illegality committed by him," a member said.
The Committee on Wednesday grilled former Telecom Secretary DS Mathur who held the position between July 2006 and February, 2007. Mathur is learnt to have told the Committee that Raja followed the advice of DoT and its officials on several issues.
He is also learnt to have said that he had opposed some of the decisions of Raja, but agreed that he had not registered his dissent on record. Mathur was grilled on whether there were any "procedural irregularities" by the Telecom Commission - of which he was ex-officio chief as Telecom Secretary - in adopting recommendations of telecom watchdog TRAI.
The follow up action by the telecom ministry had led to the issuance of 2G licences, Mathur is understood to have told the members. Behura was arrested on February 2 last year by the CBI along with Raja and his personal secretary RK Chandolia on charges of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct.