Government responsible for 2G mess: Behura


New Delhi : The government is responsible for the 2G “mess”, jailed former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura said Wednesday, accusing the powers that be of not listening when he raised an objection.

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“The entire government is responsible for the mess. My client raised the objection publicly and the government didn’t listen to him. He was bound to follow policies made by the government…he did his work as a public servant to implement policies of the government. He didn’t do anything wrong,” Behura’s counsel Aman Lekhi told CBI special judge O.P. Saini.

Behura began his arguments in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court by opposing the framing of charges against him in the 2G spectrum case.

“If any minister does not agree with the decision taken by the council of ministers then the only choice left with the minister is to either resign or accept the majority decision,” his counsel said.

“A civil servant cannot oppose the decision, since at that point of time he will be accused of being a face of a political party,” Lekhi told the court.

“Behura had no choice but to implement policy. Let down by the government, where will he go,” asked his counsel.

Behura’s statement on the government came a day after former communications minister A. Raja dragged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P. Chidambaram into the imbroglio for the second time.

The counsel also raised questions on the role of Manju Madhwan, then member secretary (finance) telecom commission, and Dinesh Mathur, who was telecom secretary before Behura.

“Manju Madhwan was a part of the conspiracy as she did not place objections in the policy which was discussed on Dec 4, 2007. She kept quiet and did not object when she could have done that…..while Mathur also defended the policy on the same date and did not oppose it,” Lekhi said.

He also asked how people who could be conspirators were made witnesses.

The counsel said, “If people who played a vital role are made witnesses then how can Behura be made an accused…..he should be a witness too.”

Behura was arrested Feb 2 for alleged involvement in the 2G scam. In the chargesheet filed April 2, he is accused of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and criminal misconduct by a public servant.

Raja had Tuesday asked why Manmohan Singh had not constituted a group of ministers (GoM) for 2G spectrum allocation and said Chidambaram should be called as a witness in the case. A day earlier his lawyer said the spectrum transactions were approved by Chidambaram, who was then finance minister, in the presence of the prime minister.