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Updated: November 20, 2011 02:36 IST

It's the turn of NDA to face 2G storm

Vinay Kumar
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A view of Airtel office in Gurgaon, which was raided by a team of CBI officials in connection with 2G scam on Saturday.
A view of Airtel office in Gurgaon, which was raided by a team of CBI officials in connection with 2G scam on Saturday.

CBI registers FIR; conducts searches

Bringing the then BJP-led National Democratic Alliance rule under its scanner, the CBI on Saturday registered a fresh case of alleged irregularities in 2G spectrum allocation when BJP leader, the late Pramod Mahajan, was Telecom Minister between 2001 and 2003.

In its first information report (FIR), the CBI has named the former Telecom Secretary, Shyamal Ghosh; the former Deputy Director-General of the Department of Telecom, J.R. Gupta, and leading telecom companies Airtel and Vodafone. The telecom giants were then known as Bharti Cellular [now Bharti Airtel]; Hutchison Max [now Vodafone Essar] and Sterling Cellular [now Vodafone Essar].

Soon after registering the FIR, the agency scurried its teams to conduct searches in the offices of Vodafone in Mumbai and Delhi, and Bharti Airtel in Gurgaon. The CBI teams also searched the residences of Mr. Ghosh and Mr. Gupta.

During the monitoring of the 2G case involving the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, the Supreme Court, on December 16, 2010, directed the CBI to investigate the alleged irregularities committed in the grant of licences from 2001 to 2007, with emphasis on the loss caused to the public exchequer and corresponding gain to the licensees/service providers.

Accordingly, the CBI registered a preliminary enquiry (PE) in January 2011, its spokesperson Dharini Mishra said. The CBI has estimated the loss due to the alleged irregularities in the grant of additional 2G spectrum at Rs.508 crore during 2001-07. This is the second FIR in this PE after a case was registered against another former Telecom Minister, Dayanidhi Maran, in the Aircel-Maxis deal.

The CBI registered the case under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code along with Sections 13 (2), 13 (1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, against the then Chairman of the Telecom Commission and the then Telecom Secretary, the then DDG and three private cellular companies. Pramod Mahajan has been excluded after he died.

It was alleged in the FIR that the then Secretary (Telecom) and the then DDG, DoT, entered into a criminal conspiracy with three beneficiary private companies, based in Delhi and Mumbai, and abused their official position as public servants.

The agency alleged that during Mahajan's tenure, Mr. Ghosh and some other officials gave additional spectrum at low revenue share to telecom giants like Vodafone and Bharti Airtel. It is also alleged that the public servants, with the approval of the Minister, took an alleged “hurried decision” on January 31, 2002 to allocate additional spectrum beyond 6.2 MHz in violation of the report of a DoT technical committee.

The accused also decided to “allocate such additional spectrum beyond 6.2 MHz by charging spectrum fee of an incremental one per cent AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) only for allotting additional spectrum from 6.2 MHz up to 10 MHz instead of charging incremental one per cent AGR on allotment of spectrum beyond 6.2 MHz and charging incremental two per cent AGR on allotment of spectrum beyond 8 MHz, as applicable in normal prudence.”

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I have a small suggestion. The CBI can as well go all the way back to LIC and Mundra Bofors scams and start investigating. The CBI could have a truck load of investigations to last at least 100 years. India can then celebrate a centenary of investigation. All the present 2G spectrum scandal heroes would have been dead and gone and CBI can close the 2G scandal also.

from:  R.V.Dorai
Posted on: Nov 21, 2011 at 00:24 IST

2G scam is made possible due to the Wrong policy of NDA govt.Either they had no vision on the scope of revenue it could have created for the nation or they did it for making revenue for themselves.Had NDA came back to power the scam would not have come out so easely. They made the ground work for corruption but could not gulp it fully, but they knew the scope of corruption and Raja gave them enough .BJP aptly raised the issue but failed to garner the support in time,lost the election again. But they could get a more than expected figure of loss from CAG and put the govt on mat because congress was not in a position to take action against Raja especially owing to the TN election.BJP played the card well .But could not strongly implicate any from congress.They wanted the head of chidambaram, an uncompromising and strong personality, he otherwise have clean image proven experience in crucial ministries of finance and home could make a worth PM.Now heat is back on BJP and CAg to explain.

from:  devassykutty
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 19:54 IST

Everyone involved in criminal conspiracy leading to loss to exchequer, regardless of party affiliations and positions held must be made to pay the price in accordance with the law of the land.It is widely suspected that Sukhram's conviction is a diversionary tactic and settle scores with the NDA and protect some more people who are in the UPA II who had a role in the murky deals behind 2G spectrum. The note prepared by the FINMIN at the behest of PMO that created a furore in September 2011 is a case in point. It is hoped that justice is not only done but also must be seen as having been done, to restore confidence of the people in the credibility and imapartiality of the country's premier investigating agency.

from:  Shekar
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 07:40 IST

The CBI and other law enforcement agencies are being misused by politicians and those in power. India cannot afford this nonsense that has been going on for decades. - We have to reform and I think the Jan Lok Pal is the right weapon to stop such nonsense. The argument that Jan Lok pal bill cannot stop all corruption is a crooked excuse by its opponents. - It is as stupid as saying that people should not enter the water, till they have learnt to swim.

from:  Suresh
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 07:19 IST

No one need get unduly alarmed. All those alleged might be sentenced to punishment, if found guilty, if this paves for rapid and unbiased prosecution, including the inquiry by JPC, which seems to be over ridden by partisan misconduct by the representatives of the powers that be.If all those under prima facie suspicion are prosecuted, it won't be surprising to find who will command the majority there as well if sentenced to punishment!

from:  M.V.Muthu
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 05:57 IST

CBI is now extra active on 2G Scam. Only after SC demanding an enquiry CBI took up the job of investigation.They have already recorded the statements of Arun Shorie and Jaswanth Singh. Now they are probing the period of late Promod mahajan.Perhaps they want to esatablish their credibility they are neutral? We the public if we get some truth out of this elaborate investigations we will be happy. If not we will say CBI is only a tool in the hands of ruling party especially Congress party.Let us wait for the final outcome.

from:  Narayanan Krishnan
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 05:45 IST

Advaniji being the strongest leader of the BJP should explain the 2G scam during the NDA Rule . If Pramod Mahajan had been alive, he would have been in the same Tihar Jail where his predecessor Sukh Ram and successor Andimuthu Raja are lodged. The utterances made by him during his YATHRA is viewed by the people as Pot calling kettle black . At least now he should stop throwing stone from inside the glass house. Let BJP allow the Law it's own course without blaming the Congress for having taken action against a Minister belonging to a coalition Partner .

from:  N.Thirunavukkarasu
Posted on: Nov 20, 2011 at 03:27 IST
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