SC slams Raja over 'objectionable' letter to PM
Former telecom minister A Raja, the prime accused in the 2G scam, was on Wednesday criticised by the Supreme Court for using 'intemperate and objectionable' language in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue of spectrum allocation policy.
The apex court was anguished over the tone and tenor of Raja's letter to the prime minister wherein words like 'unfair, discriminatory, capricious and arbitrary' were used.
"The decorum requires that the language must be polite and temperate," a bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said, adding that "it amounted to showing disrespect to the highest political authority of the country."
Image: Former telecom minister A Raja
'You have to be respectful'
The court was hearing petitions seeking cancellation of spectrum allocated during Raja's tenure as telecom minister. The bench was referring to the letter written by Raja on December 26, 2007 in which he 'bypassed and overruled' the prime minister's advice to defer the allocation of 2G spectrum by a few days.
"The expressions in the letter are very objectionable," the bench said, noting, "Even when you are writing to someone senior in age, you have to be respectful, unless you have learned a different language".
The bench asked, "Is the minister (Raja) saying that the prime minister's suggestions are arbitrary, unfair and capricious"?
The bench said, "It is expected that the language used in the letter should be a little more dignified while addressing the prime minister. The use of adjectives like this should be avoided."
Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
'The language is a matter of concern'
"The language in the letter (by Raja) is a matter of concern. It is not addressed to any ordinary person but a senior person, who is a prime minister," the bench said, adding that he was responding to a "decision of the prime minister."
During a previous hearing, the same bench had said Raja had not paid heed to the prime minister's letter asking him to wait for some days before taking any action on the allocation of spectrum.
The court had raised questions on Raja ignoring the law ministry's advice of seeking the opinion of the attorney general.
"Raja first received the opinion of the law ministry, which he overruled by saying it was out of context, then he received a letter of the prime minister on the same day asking him to wait. The prime minister had sought to know further action taken by him (Raja). That was also ignored," the court had said.
Image: Supreme Court of India