The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has told the Joint Parliamentary Committee that is probing the 2G spectrum scam that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was consistently misled by A Raja. The investigating agency also said that there is no criminal culpability of Home Minister P Chidambaram.
In its first deposition before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) today, the CBI also revised its estimates for the loss to the exchequer caused by the first-come-first-served allotment for spectrum in 2008 from Rs 22000 crore to 30000 crore.
When the JPC members questioned the CBI on why it had not investigated the role of Mr Chidambaram, who was Finance Minister when the scam took place, and officials from the Prime Minister's Office, the CBI said they did not find enough evidence to merit questioning Mr Chidambaram.
The telecom scam has determinedly dogged the UPA coalition, of which Mr Raja's party, the DMK, is a member. The government's auditor had controversially said that the swindle has cost the country 1.76 lakh crores. The opposition has alleged that it exposes the voluptuous corruption within the government, and that the Prime Minister and Mr Chidambaram cannot abdicate responsibility for allowing, through non-interference, Mr Raja to execute his conspiracy.