Government to check whether Raja altered press release after Vahanvati’s nod

Even as India’s Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati told the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) that minister A Raja altered his version of the press release announcing inviting applications for spectrum in early 2008, the government has said it is not sure about the matter.

Replying to a question by TDP Rajya Sabha member CM Ramesh, junior telecom minister Milind Deora said the government has not been able ascertain what happened, as of now.

“The information is being collected and will be laid on the Table of the House,” he told the Rajya Sabha on 15 February, ten days after Vahanvati made the disclosure to the 2G probe panel.

Vahanvati said that then telecom secretary Siddharth Behura had brought the file related to the press note to him on January 7, 2008, and sought his opinion on the factual status about any stay in court on the issue of letter of intent.

Vahanvati said he had offered opinion on the matter, but also said that his noting on the file was only “intended to confirm facts” and was not a legal opinion. Attorney General, being the legal expert to the government, is often sought his opinion by the government on matters involving the law.

He also told the probe panel that he was not aware of the amendments subsequently made in the press note issued on January 10, 2008.

It is alleged the minister favored companies known to him in the 2G spectrum and license allocation of early 2008.