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Raja Says Feel Like Villain Of The Piece, SC Says Don't Feel So

PTI 01 Dec 2010, 21:06:37 IST
New Delhi, Dec 1: A Raja, who was forced to resign as the Telecom minister in connection with the 2G spectrum scam, today told the Supreme Court that he feels condemned as "the villain of the piece".

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly responded saying he need not feel so.

At another stage during the course of the hearing in the 2G spectrum case, senior counsel T R Andhyarujina, appearing for Raja, submitted "My (Raja) stock is so low today that whatever I say, nothing can redeem my reputation."

Andhyarujina said the former is being condemned all round particularly by the media as the "villain of the piece".

Opening his arguments, he said that in view of the general opinion "that there is lack of any standards and sickening feeling of all institutions having failed, today I am being considered the villain of the piece."

However, the Bench responded by way of reassuring him saying, "Don't feel so."

"I (Raja) stand condemned. I am charged, tried and convicted in the eyes of media," Andhyarujina submitted.

"It is like I am responsible for the loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore," he said.

"His silence has been taken as admission of guilt. The impression is: I am responsible for the loss of enormous amount which is mindboggling," he said.

The counsel then questioned the CAG's finding and also the manner in which the draft report was leaked even before the final report was tabled in Parliament.

The submission evoked a query from the Bench which asked whether there was any rule for the CAG to maintain the confidentiality of the report submitted by it since it is a "high Constitutional institution."

"Is there any rule about secrecy. We are giving an example. When one of the judges among us prepare a draft judgement. Till it is signed and pronounced, it does not go into the public domain. That is the requisite of a public institution. Is there such rule. It is a high Constitutional institution," the Bench asked.

Andhyarujina and Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium both submitted that the procedure was that the report has to be first forwarded to the President who in turn directs it to be placed before Parliament.

However, counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), submitted that under the RTI Act there was no immunity for the CAG report from disclosure. PTI