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.
Yesterday, 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, adding, “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 say anything more. 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.”