The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Director Ashwani Kumar on Tuesday refused to answer whether the investigating agency was also probing the role of Union Minister A. Raja in the alleged irregularities in the award of telecom licences to private companies last year.
Asked whether the probe was confined only to officials of the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) or included the Minister for Communications and Information Technology too, he said: "We will not be able to share details of the investigation till we complete the investigation."
Earlier, Mr. Kumar visited the Madras High Court Bench here and held discussions with judges D. Murugesan and K.N. Basha separately. "It was a courtesy call. The idea is to review the CBI cases pending in the High Court and to find out if there were any problems in disposing of those cases," he said.
The CBI had registered a case on October 21 against unknown officials of the DoT, some private companies, individuals and others under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code as well as the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act,1988.
Offices of the DoT and some private telecom operators were raided on October 22 and 23 following allegations of serious irregularities in the award of Unified Access Services Licenses, a new licensing regime to ensure rapid expansion of tele-density, to private companies.
The conspirators were accused of putting a cap on the number of applicants against the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and awarding licences to the private companies on first come first serve basis as per rates fixed in 2001 without any competitive bidding.
Keywords: Central Bureau of Investigation Director Ashwani Kumar, Union Minister A. Raja, Department of Telecommunication, DoT, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Madras High Court Bench