Spectrum scam: PMO declines comment on Supreme Court remarksBy IANS
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
NEW DELHI - The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Wednesday declined to comment on the Supreme Court’s remarks about the 11-month-long “silence and inaction” of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in responding to a plea for prosecuting then communictions minister A. Raja for his involvement in the 2G spectrum scam.
“We have nothing to comment on the matter,” a PMO official told IANS Wednesday.
A senior law ministry official said the remarks were “more technical” in nature.
He noted that the government’s top legal officer - the solicitor general - had said that the government would explain its position and the background of the case in the Supreme Court Thursday.
Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium told NDTV Wednesday that the Supreme Court’s criticism of the prime minister in the 2G spectrum scam is not an embarrassment.
“Not at all. The Supreme Court’s remarks are not embarassing,” Subrmaniam replied when asked whether the government was embarassed by the court’s remarks.
He said the government will give its explanation in the court.
The case, filed by former central minister and Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, sought permssion for procescuting Raja (then a minister), comes up Thursday before the two-member bench of judges G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly.
On Tuesday, the court had asked the government to explain why the prime minister took 11 months to respond to a request for Raja’s prosecution for breaking the rules and causing the government a huge loss by deliberately undervaluing 2G spectrum in 2008.
“The alleged inaction and silence is worrying us,” said the court.
Raja resigned Sunday night ahead of the tabling in parliament of a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) into the 2G spectrum allotment.
The CAG report, tabled Tuesday, said that Raja acted “arbitrarily” and ignored the “advice” of the prime minister and other ministries on spectrum allotment, thus “casuing revenue losses of 1.76 lakh crore to the public exchequer”.