Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has summoned corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and Tata Group Chairperson Ratan Tata on April 4 to discuss their role in the 2-G Spectrum allocation case. Sources said the PAC will meet on April 4 and 5 to discuss the 2-G spectrum allocation case which had led to the resignation of Telecom Minister A Raja. He was later arrested and is still in custody.
“Niira Radia and Ratan Tata have been called on April 4 to discuss their role in the 2-G allocation. On April 5, representatives of four companies – Swan Telecom, Reliance, Airtel and Unitech – have been asked to present themselves,” they said.
After editors of ‘Outlook’ and ‘Open’ magazines were called in the 2-G spectrum case to question them on the revelations made in their respective publications about tapes regarding Radia’s telephonic conversations with captains of industry and important journalists, it was clear that she would be summoned by the PAC.
PAC Chairperson Murli Manohar Joshi as well as several members of the panel had expressed “satisfaction and happiness” with the deposition made by Vinod Mehta (Outlook) and Manu Joseph (Open).
The tapes brought to light Radia allegedly lobbying with journalists and important people to influence formation of the UPA-II cabinet, especially the Telecom portfolio. Radia is allegedly heard in the tapes making a case for Raja to get the telecom portfolio and ensure that Dayanidhi Maran (also of DMK) is kept out.
Ratan Tata also figures in some of these purported conversations with Radia.
Representatives of four key players and alleged beneficiaries, namely Reliance (Anil Ambani Group), Airtel, Swan Telecom and Unitech, have been summoned on April 5.
Tata and Reliance are clients of Radia’s Vaishnavi Communications.
Swan Telecom, now DB Etisalat, chief Shahid Usman Balwa is already in custody in the 2-G Spectrum case.