Government asked to explain delay in taking decision on 2G spectrum allocation scam

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Supreme Court has asked the Government to explain the delay in taking a decision on the issue of granting sanction to prosecute former Telecom Minister A. Raja in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

A bench comprising justices G. S. Singhvi and A. K. Ganguly took the decision.

The bench was hearing on a petition filed by Janata Party President and former Law Minister Subramaniam Swamy, who had sought sanction for the prosecution of Raja.

Earlier on Tuesday, the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report on the 2G spectrum scam was tabled in Parliament even as the Opposition continued to demand a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe.

The CAG report will now be taken up by Public Accounts Committee headed by MM Joshi, which has members from other parties too.

According to the report, the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) managed to keep the issue of spectrum pricing outside the purview of the Group of Ministers (GoM).

The CAG in its report said that 85 out of 122 licenses issued in 2008 were found to be given to companies, which did not satisfy basic eligibility criteria.
“A Raja justified allotment of spectrum to a few new operators in 2008 without reconsidering the old entry fee in 2001, ignoring the advise of the Prime Minister,” the report further said The report added that the Telecom Commission was not consulted in the 2G spectrum allocation and views and concerns of the Ministry of Finance were over-ruled.

The report, which was tabled in the Parliament, specifically focuses on how facts about a top industrialist’s substantial stake in Swan Telecom - it far exceeded ten per cent- were concealed while applying for the 2G spectrum licence.

Raja was forced to resign on Sunday night under considerable pressure from the Congress, which has been attacked in Parliament by a united Opposition.

The CAG holds Raja responsible for violating guidelines, indulging in favouritism and costing the government Rs. 1.76 lakh crores by mishandling the allocation of 2G spectrum in 2008. (ANI)

Filed under: Court, India

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