The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday told the Supreme Court that the probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam had shown “violation” of norms during the NDA regime, when Pramod Mahajan and Arun Shourie were Telecom Ministers, and said the then Finance Minister, Jaswant Singh, would be examined.
The agency said the element of “coercion” by Dayanidhi Maran, who was Telecom Minister between May 2004 and May 2007, had not been revealed during investigation into his alleged role in the sale of Aircel to the Malaysia-based Maxis group.
However, senior advocate K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, said investigation had revealed that the company, which was taking over Aircel, was in contact with Mr. Maran, a DMK MP, and his brother.
“Jaswant Singh would be examined in due course,” Mr. Venugopal told a Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly.
Mr. Singh was heading the Group of Ministers on the issue of limited mobility and unified licensing during the relevant period.
The agency, which filed a fresh status report on its probe, said it was investigating the allocation of spectrum during 2001-07, when the late Mahajan, Mr. Shourie and Mr. Maran (UPA-I) were Telecom Ministers. The probe in this regard would be completed by month-end.
The CBI said that during Mr. Mahajan's tenure members of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) had been meeting the then Telecom Secretary, Shyamal Ghosh, on the cellular mobile service issue.
Mr. Mahajan was Telecom Minister between 2001 and 2003, while Mr. Shourie held this portfolio from January 2003 to May 2004.
Mr. Maran was forced to resign as Textiles Minister in July after the CBI said it was investigating a complaint against him filed by Siva Group chairman C. Sivasankaran, who owned Aircel in 2006
The CBI said that during Mr. Maran's tenure there was “deliberate delay” to provide a letter of intent to the promoter of Aircel.
After Aircel was sold to the Maxis group, investments were made by the Malaysian firm in the Marans' family business, the agency said.
Mr. Venugopal said the CBI was also probing allocation of the Unified Access Service Licence (UASL) during Mr. Shourie's tenure.
The CBI had on July 6 charged Mr. Maran in the Supreme Court with “forcing” a Chennai-based telecom promoter to sell his stakes in Aircel to Maxis in 2006.
The agency, in its status report then, said Mr. Maran had forced Mr. Sivasankaran to sell his stakes in Aircel to the Maxis group. Mr. Maran has refuted the allegations.
The report had said the Malaysian firm was allegedly favoured by Mr. Maran and was granted licence within six months of the takeover of Aircel in December 2006.