Attorney general quizzed by CBI in 2G spectrum case

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) Widening its probe in the 2G spectrum allocation case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has questioned Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati on the legal advice he is said to have tendered in his role as the solicitor general to then communication minister A. Raja on the allotment of spectrum, informed sources said.

Vahanvati was asked last week about the basis of his justifying the

'first come first served' policy adopted by Raja in the allocation of 2G spectrum, the sources said.

Vahanvati Wednesday issued a statement saying that the CBI wanted to verify whether a press release informing the public of the new deadline for applying for spectrum, issued by Raja and cleared by Vahanvati, was forged.

CBI sources told IANS that it was found that a paragraph was deleted and a crucial sentence - 'amendments approved' - was added to the original draft made by Vahanvati.

Forensic tests have found that the draft was changed, Vahanvati stated.

The attorney general said it was 'inaccurate to say' that he 'was grilled by the CBI'.

Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, who has moved a petition against Raja in the Supreme Court, alleged that Vahanvati provided legal opinion on the 2G spectrum. Vahanvati has denied the charges.

The 2G spectrum allocation turned into a major controversy as the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) cited irregularities and said Raja's faulty policies had cost the exchequer a notional Rs.1.72 lakh crore.

Raja quit Nov 14, 2010. He was arrested Feb 2 and is lodged in the Tihar jail here.