New Delhi: Vinod Goenka, a director of Swan Telecom, on Wednesday accused CBI of making "vague and unsound allegations" before a Delhi court saying no specific role has been attributed to him in the charge sheets in the 2G scam case.

Advancing his arguments against framing of charges, Goenka told Special CBI Judge O P Saini that he cannot be held liable for any alleged misconduct attributed to Swan Telecom merely because he was one of the directors of the company.

"Except making vague and unsound allegations against him (Goenka) in a stereo-typed manner, CBI has not referred to any role on the part of Goenka to make him liable either for conspiracy, cheating or any other offence," Goenka's counsel K G Menon said.

Goenka said he had nothing to do with telecom business of Swan Telecom and it was Managing Director (MD) Shahid Usman Balwa, a co-accused in the 2G case, who was authorised by the board to look after the telephony business. "Balwa was the MD of Swan Telecom and the board had given him the power of attorney (to proceed in telecom issue). Whatever was required to be done to obtain the (2G) licences was done by Balwa."

"He (Goenka) was not looking after the telecom business and especially in view of the specific power given to Balwa by the board, there was no occasion for Goenka to do anything with the licences," Menon said.

"I adopt the arguments of Majeed Memon (lawyer for Balwa) and my friend Sushil Kumar (counsel for A Raja)," Menon said several times during his three-hour-long arguments.

"What is the material (with CBI) to show that there was a loss? Who are they to say so? CBI is only an agency of the government and the government itself is saying there was no loss and that too in Parliament. It means there is no loss. This case goes," Menon said.

Claiming innocence before the court, Goenka submitted that besides "irresponsible allegations", CBI has no iota of evidence against him to show his culpability in "omission and commission" of the alleged offence.

He said "eyes cannot be shut" to statements of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal the state did not incur any loss in allocation of spectrum in 2008.

Menon said CBI was questioning the policy of the government before a court of law, which is not permissible.

"Courts, including the Supreme Court and the high courts, cannot interfere in such issues regarding policy and policy decisions of the government. This court has no power to do so," he said.

He also cited a Supreme Court judgement to drive home the point that courts should be "wary" in dealing with issues concerning policies of the government.

Goenka cannot be made an accused only because he is a director in the company on the principle of "vicarious liability" as CBI is under an obligation to specify the criminal acts of the accused.
    
"The only basis on which I (Goenka) have been held liable is that I am the director of the company. But whatever is attributed to Swan Telecom cannot be attributed to me. The principle of vicarious liability does not apply here otherwise CBI should have picked up directors of other companies."
    
"Liability depends on the role a person plays and I have no role in this," he said.

Never paid any bribe to anyone: Tata

Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata on Wednesday rejected allegations of giving bribe to former telecom minister A Raja to secure 2G spectrum allocation and said charges being made in the court proceedings were an attempt at diversion.

Facing questions from a shareholder at the AGM of Tata Steel company, he said unfortunately there are defamation laws in the country and one can say anything in court and get away with it.

"Not even one paisa was paid to Mr A Raja. The money was for the hospital and medical equipment meant for people. Since no hospital was built and no equipment was purchased, no money was paid.

"We do not make payments in advance. The statements made in courts are to create a diversion," Tata said while replying to a question on reports that the company had paid Rs 20 crore to a hospital in Raja's constituency.

On Tuesday, jailed Swan Telecom's promoter Shahid Usman Balwa had said that Tatas gave donation to the tune of Rs 20 crore to a hospital in Tamil Nadu.

"We have not paid Rs 20 crore to A Raja. It’s being said in the court for other reasons of diversion," Tata told the shareholders at the 104th AGM of Tata Steel.

"Lots of things we have not said in public because we have given all the information to the agencies. Besides, the matter is sub-judice and we may risk contempt of court, if we see anything more," he said, adding, "We have never been asked or given any sort of bribe or gratification to A Raja or anybody else."

"I am sure, when the dust settles, things will become clearer. Unfortunately, there are no defamation laws in this country. But in a court they can make any statement they like," Tata said.

(JPN/Agencies)