PMO officials, not Raja, misled Manmohan: court

PMO officials, not Raja, misled Manmohan: court

Senior officials of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), and not former Telecom minister A Raja, misled the then prime minister Manmohan Singh on spectrum allocations, the special CBI court observed.

"Records show that facts were misrepresented to the then prime minister by the officials of the PMO. It was not A Raja, but Pulok Chatterjee, in consultation with T K A Nair, who had suppressed the most relevant and controversial part of the letter of A Raja from the then prime minister. It is clear that complete facts were not placed before the prime minister by his own office, for which Raja cannot be faulted," judge O P Saini said.

Chatterjee was a senior officer at the PMO while Nair was the principal secretary to Manmohan Singh.

Raja wrote a letter to Manmohan Singh on February 11, 2007, informing him about the decision of the department of telecom (DoT). The letter was seen by the prime minister and treated as urgent, the court noted. "He (Manmohan Singh) had discussed the matter with the principal secretary," the court said. However, there is no record whether or not this letter was examined by the PMO.

"It is clear that somebody from the PMO had given a go-ahead to the DoT for new licences, and most probably it was Pulok Chatterjee himself. Had the PMO hinted otherwise, the DoT would not have dared to go ahead with the process of licences, the court observed.

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