New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister A Raja on Wednesday subjected erstwhile Telecom Secretary DS Mathur to intense questioning during his cross-examination in the 2G case, prompting the court to caution the DMK leader and his counsel against raising their voices.
During Mathur's cross-examination by Raja's counsel Sushil Kumar, the "loud language" used by the advocate in questioning him irked Special Judge OP Saini, who asked the counsel to desist from speaking loudly.
"Please do not use loud language otherwise I can also be the same," Special CBI Judge OP Saini said, asking Kumar to be "polite and straight forward" in questioning Mathur.
During the proceedings, senior counsel Sushil Kumar said that he was "discrediting" Mathur as a witness as he was not answering his questions in a proper manner.
"I am discrediting this witness (Mathur) completely. He says he does not remember what he had read in 2006. It is his memory test. He remembers in 2012 the oral evidence against Raja but he do not remember what is there in the documents.
"We did not say anything for the last two days (when Mathur's examination-in-chief was going on) but today is the testing time for him (Mathur)," Kumar said.
Raja, who was standing next to his counsel during the proceedings, joined the arguments and said Mathur was "very keen" about his notings on the files but being the erstwhile telecom secretary, he did not remember about telecom policy.
"He (Mathur) is very keen with my notings on page number this and this, but as (a former) telecom secretary, he does not remember about the telecom policy," Raja said.
Former Telecom Secretary Mathur, during his deposition, told the court that as per a 2001 DoT guideline for issue of licences for basic services, the spectrum was to be allocated on the first-come-first-served (FCFS) basis.
He said he did not know if the FCFS principle was invoked by the DoT for the first time in the January 25, 2001 guidelines.
"I do not know if the principle of first-come-first served was invoked by the DoT for the first time in these guidelines (of January 2001). I am not aware if the principle of FCFS was ever applied before these guidelines.
"Clause 26 of these guidelines does say that spectrum is to be allocated on FCFS basis. I have gone through these guidelines and the term 'first-come-first-served' has not been defined anywhere," Mathur said.
The Supreme Court, on February 2 2012, had cancelled 122 2G licences granted during former Telecom Minister A Raja's tenure, declaring them as "illegal" and had blamed the government's flawed first-come-first-served policy.
During the cross examination by Raja's counsel, Mathur said as per January 2001 guidelines, there was no restriction on the number of telecom operators in a service area for basic services.
He said for issuance of Unified Access Services Licences (UASL), National Telecom Policy of 1999 and guidelines issued by the department in December 2005 were followed.
He said during his tenure as telecom secretary from July 2006 to December 2007, UASL guidelines of 2005 were followed.