It holds Ministers from 2001 to 2009 guilty of ignoring Cabinet decisions
The one-man committee, formed by Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal to look into the allocation of licences and spectrum between 2001 and 2009, has found that all decisions taken by the Department of Telecommunications during the NDA and UPA regimes were procedurally wrong and unfair.
In its report, the committee has found Telecom Ministers between 2001 and 2009 guilty of ignoring Cabinet decisions and overlooking the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that called for a ‘multi-stage bidding process' for allocating spectrum instead of the first-come, first-served procedure.
“The report has clearly stated that since 2001 [when the NDA was in power], the internal procedures adopted by the DoT have not been in tune with extant policies and directions of government. It has held that the decisions taken by the DoT in respect of the grant of Unified Access Services [UAS] licences [bundled with spectrum], right from 2003 onwards and including the grant of licences in 2008, were neither consistent with the decisions of the Union Cabinet taken on October 31, 2003, nor the recommendations of TRAI,” Mr. Sibal told journalists here on Friday, while releasing excerpts of the Justice (retd.) Shivraj V. Patil Committee report.
It has highlighted serious lapses on the part of the named former Telecom Ministers, including A. Raja (during whose term the controversial licences were issued in 2008), former Telecom Secretaries and at least top 20 DoT officials. They had adopted unfair procedures in the licence and spectrum allocation. “Mr. Raja has always said he followed past policies…but past policies were themselves wrong,” Mr. Sibal said, when asked about his predecessor's stance on the issue.
The report would be submitted to the CBI, which is investigating the alleged scam in the spectrum allocation and would also be made public soon, he said.