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2G: Vahanvati gave false statement against me, claims Siddhartha Behura

Tuesday, 6 May 2014 - 8:32pm IST | Agency: PTI

 Former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura today accused Attorney General G E Vahanvati of giving false statement against him, saying he did so to "disassociate" his role in formulation of the revised first-come-first-served (FCFS) policy for distribution of the 2G spectrum licences.

Deposing before the special 2G court, Behura claimed that Vahanvati, who was the then Solicitor General (SG) in January 2008, had also given false statement regarding the draft press release about issuance of letters of intent (LoIs) to eligible telecom firms.

"The SG's (Vahanvati's) main concern is to disassociate himself from any involvement in formulation of the revised FCFS policy as stated....In his evidence, SG, therefore, has made a false statement that I (Behura) made a telephonic call to him asking him if there was any stay and also asked him to confirm the same in writing, to which he agreed and thereafter I went to see him along with the file.

"He (Vahanvati) has further made a false statement that I showed him a draft press release and none of these is borne out from record," Behura told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

Behura's deposition assumes significance as the CBI had alleged in its charge sheet that the amendment in the press release "led to redefining the concept of the first-come-first serve on the basis of priority in submission of compliance of the LoI against the established practice of priority in order of receipt of application".

Vahanvati had earlier deposed as a CBI witness in the case in which Behura along with others are facing trial.

Vahanvati had told the court that he was only supposed to give his opinion on the draft press release as sought by the Department of Telecom (DoT) and it was not for him to tell the department as to "what they did was wrong".

During the recording of his statement, which concluded today, Behura claimed, "CBI has not even attributed any mens rea to me to suggest that I could be involved in any illegal act for benefit of myself, or my family members or any other person to benefit."

He also said that he did not have "any social, cultural and ethnic association" with former Telecom Minister A Raja and he had "no financial or professional benefit from him".

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