Ineligible companies granted spectrum by deliberately advancing date
GN Bureau | April 15, 2015
The CBI has told the special court that ex-telecom minister A Raja had misled then prime minister Manmohan Singh on policy matters pertaining to 2G spectrum allocation.
In its final arguments in the 2G spectrum allocation case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday said 2G spectrum was granted to ineligible companies such as Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd and Unitech Wireless. Raja had also deliberately advanced the cut off date to favour accused firms, the agency said.
Referring to the letters written by Raja on November 2, 2007, to Singh, Special Public Prosecutor Anand Grover said, “He (Raja), in fact, misled him (Manmohan Singh) on FCFS (first-come-first-serve) and cut-off date.”
The arguments in the case would continue on May 25.
The CBI says that there was a loss of around Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in the allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum. The allocation of 122 licences was scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.
The court had on October 22, 2011, framed charges under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.
The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.
Besides Raja and DMK’s Rajaya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, former secretary of telecom Siddharth Behura, Raja's erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) -- Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair -- are facing trial in the case.
Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV Director Sharad Kumar and Bollywood producer Karim Morani are also accused in the case.
Besides these, Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL), Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd are also facing trial in the case. The court is also hearing separate cases into the 2G scam which allegedly involves promoters of Essar Group, Loop Telecom and others, Aircel-Maxis deal case and enforcement directorate's money laundering case.
The court has recorded statements of 154 CBI witnesses, including Reliance ADAG chairman Anil Ambani, his wife Tina Ambani and former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia.
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