In its third charge sheet in the 2G spectrum scam case indicting two promoters of Essar Group for using Loop Telecom as a front company to apply for more UAS licences even when Essar held 33 per cent equity in Vodafone-Essar, the CBI has taken a dim view of officials of the Ministry of Company Affairs (MCA) and Department of Telecommunications (DoT) choosing not to act despite being made aware of violations of Clause 8 of the UAS licence guidelines by Loop Telecom.
The CBI, in its charge sheet, said that after receiving several complaints during 2008-10 that Loop Telecom violated Clause 8, which forbid existing operators from holding more than 10 per cent in new UAS licensee companies, the DoT then referred the matter to the MCA.
An MCA official who investigated the matter found that Clause 8 was violated. “However, MCA instead of conveying such a definite opinion to DoT, chose to send a non-committal vague report elaborating on the significant control of Essar Group over Loop Telecom. In the light of such a general report on facts, the DoT took a broad view of the matter and chose to wait for fresh inputs for deciding the matter,” the CBI alleged.
This was despite some DoT officials recommending the issuance of show-cause notice to Loop Telecom for cancellation of UAS licences.
“In this manner, the public servants belonging to the MCA and the DoT chose to take a broad view of the serious matter, despite there being strong suggestions of violation of Clause 8 of UASL guidelines dated December 14, 2005. The public servants belonging to the MCA and the DoT even chose not to investigate the matter under the provisions of the Companies Act and allowed it to rest. A self-contained note on these findings is being forwarded to the MCA and DoT for taking action as deemed fit against the erring officials,” the charge sheet said.
However, the investigating agency said its probe could not uncover any mala fide on the part of the public servants involved.
Keywords: 2G spectrum scam case