As the government scrapped the S-band spectrum allocation deal, Defence Minister A K Antony on Thursday said a “mistake” had been committed in reaching it as the Defence Ministry had not been consulted about the agreement which involved crucial asset of the security forces.

He expressed confidence that in future the first priority would be given to security forces in allocation of such spectrum.

“They have done some mistake.... S-band is mainly for the strategic forces and in which our services -- army, navy, air froze -- they have got major stake,” he told reporters.

Noting that S-band spectrum was “very precious asset for us”, the Defence Minister said its “availability is limited” and has to be given to the armed forces, paramilitary and other strategic forces.

“It is unfortunate that earlier we were not consulted at that time by those who took the decision,” he said adding that “In the future the first priority would be for the strategic forces and strategic organizations.”

Mr. Antony said the Ministry of Defence and Services have got a major stake and “I hope their concerns would be properly addressed. I am confident about that.”

His remarks came hours after the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) annulled the controversial deal saying it was not in the strategic interest of the country.

Commenting on Mr. Antony’s remarks, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said the “issues” raised by his cabinet colleague “can be a subject matter” before the B.K. Chaturvedi Committee set by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recently to look into various aspects of the S-band allocation.

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