Sibal denies Behura’s claims
New Delhi: Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal on Thursday contested the claims of former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura over a December 2007 meeting held regarding entry fees for 2G licences, in which he had said the then Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and former Finance Secretary D. Subbarao were present.
“We have looked into records. The records show that there was no such meeting. Neither Chidambaram (now Union Home Minister) nor Subbarao (now RBI Governor) remember any such meeting,” Mr. Sibal said.
He said, “It is surprising that the then telecom secretary (Behura), who joined (Department of Telecom) on January 1, 2008, is referring to a meeting of December 4, 2007, when he had no personal knowledge of the meeting and has not produced any document to support veracity of his submission.”
Opposing the framing of charges of corruption and other penal offences against him in the case, Mr. Behura told Special CBI judge O.P. Saini on Wednesday that Mr. Subbarao had decided against revising the entry fee of Rs 1,659 crore for 2G licences and if he is not an accused in this case, he (Behura) too should not have been put on trial.
“Subbarao finalised the decision taken in the meeting of December 4, 2007, that the policy stood approved and the entry fees (of Rs 1,659 crore fixed in 2001 during NDA’s regime) need not be revised,” Mr. Behura’s counsel Aman Lekhi said in the court. Mr. Behura has been behind bars for the past six months.
“Even the Finance Minister (then P Chidambaram) was also present in the meeting (held on December 4, 2007). If Subbarao, who was part of the Finance Ministry, did commit no wrong, how come I did,” Mr. Behura’s counsel had said.