New Delhi: Former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura today sought to put the responsibility of major decisions taken ahead of granting 2G licences on A Raja and said he had difference of opinion with the then Telecom Minister on first-come-first-serve policy for allocation of the spectrum.
Deposing before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) looking into the 2G spectrum allocation case, Behura - a key accused in the 2G scam case - said the first-come-first-serve (FCFS) policy was followed for compliance of letter of intent (LoI) and not for processing.
"He conceded that he had some difference of opinion with the minister on this position...but the minister said the decision in this regard was already taken. Behura was of the opinion that the inter se seniority of applicants based on their date of application be maintained," committee Chairman P C Chacko told reporters after the meeting.
He said the DoT deviated from the FCFS policy in 2008 as seniority of applicants, which was to be decided after the date of receipt of the application in DoT central registry, was instead decided as per the date of compliance of the LoI.
Behrua told the committee that he was of the opinion that if more than one applicant complies with the condition of the LoI, then their inter se seniority of submission should be taken. Chacko said Behura had prepared a note in support of his opinion.
"But the minister did not agree and he deleted the observation and wrote on the file 'not necessary as it is a new stipulation'. This is where he said there was a difference of opinion," he said quoting the submission of Behura.
The former Telecom Secretary, who is out on bail, told the panel that he had found the decision to change the cut-off date from October 30, 2007, to September 25, 2007, as "unusual". But Chacko said he had no difference of opinion on this issue with Raja.