Aam Aadmi party raises questions on Govt's Vodafone strategy

Arvind KejriwalArvind Kejriwal

The Aam Aadmi Party today raised questions on the "haste" in which Law Ministry within a day of Kapil Sibal taking charge gave its go-ahead for a conciliatory out-of-court settlement of over Rs 11,000 crore tax dispute with Vodafone that marked a change in stance.

At a press conference, AAP's Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan also alleged that Sibal has a "conflict of interest" in the case involving Vodafone as his lawyer son Amit "continues to defend" Hutchinson, which had a partnership with the British telecom major

Questioning the "haste" in Sibal's decision, Kejriwal alleged that within 24 hours of assuming office he has started "indulging in corruption." Sibal got the additional charge of Law Ministry two days ago.

"What is the need for? He is doing this because his son is the lawyer of Hutch which sold its shares to Vodafone," he said.

Sources close to Sibal denied the allegation saying Amit was a lawyer for Vodafone between 2007 and 2009 and the Vodafone issue came up last year only. Sources also said his two sons did not take up any telecom case after he became Telecom Minister.

Amit also denied the allegations, terming it "completely false".

"The last time I appeared for a telecom company was on April 22, 2010, much before Mr Sibal became the Telecom Minister. I have consciously avoided taking such cases. The last time I appeared for Vodafone was over three years ago when the issue of taxation was not there.

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