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Updated: September 22, 2011 00:48 IST

Judge: TRAI report to CBI on 2G loss surprising

J. Venkatesan
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Former Telecom Minister A. Raja comes out of CBI headquarters after an enquiry in this December 2010 file photo.
Former Telecom Minister A. Raja comes out of CBI headquarters after an enquiry in this December 2010 file photo.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday questioned the report of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on loss due to 2G spectrum allocation.

A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly, hearing applications filed by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy and advocate Prashant Bhushan, faulted the TRAI for its communication to the Central Bureau of Investigation on the loss.

Justice Singhvi asked senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, how come there was a difference in the losses estimated by the CBI and the Comptroller and Auditor-General, and said even the agency's estimated loss was contested. On the TRAI report, the judge said, “We are really surprised over the communication. It [TRAI] was created as an autonomous regulator by an Act of Parliament. By the said communication, what it [TRAI] has done and stated in recent days are a serious debatable issue.”

Mr. Venugopal, however, made it clear that the CBI had not accepted the TRAI report. “It is true that everybody is taking advantage of it.”

Justice Singhvi said, “Everything should be left to the court to decide. Let the system work on its own. We reserve our comments, lest they prejudice the case.”

The TRAI report, filed by the CBI as mentioned in its charge sheet, said it was not possible to calculate the exact loss to the exchequer due to the 2G spectrum allocation in 2008 during the tenure of A. Raja as Telecom Minister. The TRAI's communication also said it did not recommend auctioning of the 2G spectrum licence.

Mr. Venugopal said once the charge sheet was filed by the investigating agency, it was for the competent court to call for witnesses and to add names of new accused. The Supreme Court had no power to direct the CBI to conduct the probe in a particular manner or investigate a particular person based on the documents furnished by Dr. Swamy.

To a question from Justice Ganguly whether trial could commence after framing of charges or even at the stage of taking cognisance of the charge sheet, Mr. Venugopal said it would begin “the moment cognisance is taken by the trial court and it is for this court to decide the further course of investigation.”

Arguments will continue on Thursday.

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sir, When there is no respect for law and every one puts forth whatever is to his liking, as if it were the law, there is no point in making any comment on such irrelevant and illegal defense, put forth just for the heck of it. finally it is the wisdom of the learned judges that will settle the issue as per the law.

from:  Ramchander
Posted on: Sep 24, 2011 at 07:06 IST

It appears that a number of Government bodies like the TRAI, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the Ministry of Law are on the overdrive to weaken or torpedo the 2G scame case.

from:  M.G. Swaminathan
Posted on: Sep 22, 2011 at 13:01 IST

What is the surprise in TRAI confusing report? Its chairman was appointed by Raja! Before being the chairman, he was a Judge who heard and decided on a spectrum related case. Raja rewarded him! The most surprising thing is that no medium -m be it the press or electronic - wants to analyse this angle! The TRAI is a five member committee with two permenant members and 3 part time. None of them has any back ground in Financial or accountaacy management! Instead of saying they do not know how to calculate the loss they say no data avaialable! This proves their ignorance to the proven techniques and accepted norms to calculate loss incurred. Through its ignorance TRAI seems to take a self protection as the court may question the legitimacy of its recommandatory role if it keeps silent and thereby facing the risk of connivence! ANy government agency, brefet of intra house expertise, is deemed to call for the same from the specialized body. Here TRAI1s duty is to seek the CAG for guidence.

from:  RAM France
Posted on: Sep 22, 2011 at 12:01 IST

As per the scheme in the Cr.P.C. the trial of a case starts after fixing date for prosecution. Fixing date for prosecution is preceded by framing of charges by the court. Framing of charges by court is preceded by questioning of the accused and hearing his pleading as 'guilt or not'. If pleaded 'guilt' the case ends there with appropriate decision of Trial court. If pleaded 'not guilt' then date for prosecution is fixed on the counts as decided by the court and the trial starts thereafter only. Further as per definitions given in Sec. 2 Cr.P.C. all the proceedings before the commencement of trial means the case is under inquiry stage only. If trial starts on taking cognisance by the court, as told by Mr. Venugopal, then the case will be under 'trial' on the date in which the FIR was received by the court. Is it correct.

from:  Prof. N. Gunachandran
Posted on: Sep 22, 2011 at 08:37 IST
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