SOS e Clarion Of Dalit

February 22, 2016

Telecom Scams – RPG , Reliance …..

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nagaraja M R @ 5:50 pm

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Editor: NAGARAJA.M.R… VOL.10 issue.08… .24/02/2016

 

Reliance Communications clears debt of Rs. 2,700 crore

Editorial   –   Telecom  Scams   RPG ,  Reliance  ………………

In spite  of  repeated  appeals   government  has  allowed   telecom   companies   to   swindle  public  exchequer.  Even   the   supreme   court  of   india   is  mum ,  not taking   appropriate   actions ,   why ?

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA ORIGINAL JURISDICTION

CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO…..  OF 2015

IN THE MATTER OF
NAGARAJA . M.R

editor SOS e Clarion of Dalit & SOS e Voice for Justice
# LIG 2 , No 761 ,, HUDCO First Stage , Laxmikantanagar ,
Hebbal , Mysore – 570017 , Karnataka State
.
….Petitioner

Versus

Cabinet Secretary ( Telecommunications)  Government of  India & Others
….Respondents

PETITION UNDER ARTICLE 12 to ARTICLE 35 & ARTICLE 51A OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA FOR ISSUANCE OF A WRIT IN THE NATURE OF MANDAMUS UNDER ARTICLE 32 & ARTICLE 226 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA.
To ,
Hon’ble The Chief Justice of India and His Lordship’s Companion
Justices of the Supreme Court of India. The Humble petition of the
Petitioner above named.

MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH :
1. Facts of the case:
“Power will go to the hands of rascals, , rogues and freebooters. All Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight among themselves for
power and will be lost in political squabbles . A day would come when even air & water will be taxed.” Sir Winston made this statement in the House of Commons just before the independence of India & Pakistan. Sadly , the forewarning of Late Winston Churchill has been proved right by some of our criminal , corrupt public servants.

2. Eventhough , certain PIJF companies were previously found to be involved in illegal practices , CPIO of  DOT / BSNL is hiding information . Thereby , he is trying to shield criminals.

3. By this action CPIO of  DOT / BSNL  is  aiding criminals.

 

2. Question(s) of Law:
DOT / BSNL  has paid crores of  rupees to PIJF  Telecable manufacturers  towards  purchase of cables. The  money is from public exchequer , people’s money . That public money is swindled by  cable manufacturers with tacit support of DOT / BSNL officials. Why no prosecution of DOT / BSNL officials & cable manufacturers ? are they above law ?
3. Grounds:
Requests for equitable justice , Accountability for public money worth crores of rupees.
4. Averment:

Private companies in their greed for money  are violating norms  in league with public officials. They  have caused loss to the public exchequer.
Hereby , I do request the honorable supreme court of India to consider  this as a PIL for : “writ of Mandamus” and to issue instructions to the concerned public servants in the following cases to perform their duties & to answer the questions.
The Petitioner has sent many letters / appeals / petitions to supreme court of india & other courts through e-mail , DARPG website & through regular mail requesting them to consider those as PILs. But none of them were admitted , even acknowledgement for receipts were not given. See How duty conscious ,our judges are & see how our judges are sensitive towards life , liberty of citizens , commonmen & see how careless our judges are towards anti national crimes , crimes worth crores of rupees.  That the present petitioner has not filed any other petition (which are admitted by courts) in any High Court or the Supreme Court of India on the subject matter of the present petition.

PRAYER:
In the above premises, it is prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased:
(i) Hereby , I do request the honorable supreme court of India to consider this as a PIL for : “writ of Mandamus” and to issue instructions to the concerned public servants in the following cases to perform their duties & to answer the questions.
(ii) to pass such other orders and further orders as may be deemed necessary on the facts and in the circumstances of the case.
FOR WHICH ACT OF KINDNESS, THE PETITIONER SHALL BE DUTY BOUND, EVER PRAY.

Kindly read full details at following web page :

CORPORATE CRIMES RPG CABLES LIMITED

http://crimesatrpg.blogspot.com/   ,

http://crimesatrpg.wordpress.com/   ,

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/naghrw/message/218

 

Dated : 13th   June 2015                               FILED BY: NAGARAJA.M.R.

Place : Mysuru , India                                   PETITIONER-IN-PERSON

 

RTI  Appeal  Not  Answered  by  DOT /  BSNL  officials

 

To ,

Shri. L.K. Govil ,

GM (Coordination) & RTI  Appellate Authority ,

BSNL Corporate office ,

Room  No .27 , IR  Hall , Eastern  Court Complex ,

Jan Path Road , New Delhi – 110001.

 

APPEAL UNDER SEC 19 (3) OF RTI ACT 2005 OF GOVERNMENT OF INDIA & GOVERNMENT OF KARNATAKA

 

FULL NAME OF THE APPLICANT : NAGARAJA.M.R.

ADDRESS OF THE APPLICANT : NAGARAJA.M.R.,

EDITOR , SOS E-VOICE JUSTICE  & SOS E-CLARION OF DALIT ,

# LIG-2 / 761, OPP WATER WORKS OFFICE,

HUDCO FIRST STAGE, LAXMIKANTANAGAR,

HEBBAL, MYSORE , KARNATAKA  PIN – 570017.

“Power will go to the hands of rascals, , rogues and freebooters. All Indian leaders will be of low calibre and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts.  They will fight among themselves for power and will be lost in political squabbles . A day would come when even air & water will be taxed.” Sir Winston made this statement in the House of Commons just before the independence of India & Pakistan. Sadly , the  forewarning of  Late Winston Churchill  has been proved right by  some of our  criminal , corrupt people’s representatives , police , public servants &  Judges.  Some of the below  mentioned  DOT officials  fall among the category of churchill’s men –  Rogues  , Rascals & Freebooters. To my previous RTI requests & appeals  they  tried covering – up crores worth  SCAM   by transferring application from one to the other at the end  by denying  information to me, Does not the DOT  possess  information with respect to  tenders given by it to suppliers. Is it not the duty of  DOT QUALITY Circle  to monitor  the supplies  from  suppliers ? Then who has got it ? why don’t you transfer the RTI application to that authority or  ask for  information from them ?

We salute honest few in public service , our whole hearted respects to them.  HEREBY , I DO HUMBLY REQUEST YOU TO GIVE ME WRITTEN STATEMENTS / ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS – WHICH IN ITSELF ( ie answers ) ARE THE INFORMATION SOUGHT BY ME. HERE WITH I AM SEEKING NOT THE OPINIONS ABOUT SOME HYPOTHETICAL ISSUES , BUT YOUR OFFICIAL STAND , LEGAL STAND ON ISSUES WHICH ARE OF FREQUENT OCCURRENCE WHICH ARE VIOLATING PEOPLE’S FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS & HUMAN RIGHTS. WE DO HAVE HIGHEST RESPECTS FOR JUDICIARY & ALL PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS , THIS IS AN APPEAL FOR TRUTH , INFORMATION SO THAT TO APPREHEND CORRUPT FEW IN PUBLIC SERVICE, WHO ARE AIDING & ABETTING TERRORISM , UNDERWORLD & CRIMINALS.

M/s  Karnataka Telecables  Ltd , Mysore  renamed as  M/s RPG Telecom Ltd  again renamed as M/s  RPG Cables Ltd  once again renamed as M/s KEC International , Mysore  used to  manufacture  PIJF & OFC  telecables and  supplied  it  to  department of telecommunications , government of india , Indian Railways  and GAIL , PGCIL  of Ministry  of Petroleum .  DOT  used to pay  hundreds of crores of rupees from public exchequer to buy these cables .  There is also one more company by name M/s  Concepta  Cables Ltd , Mysore  belonging to the same industrial group  supplying  PIJF & OFC  telecables  to   DOT. As  a public , as a citizen of india  and  as a tax payer  I want  to know whether those crores of rupees from public exchequer are well spent.

1.      How many times the above said  companies were blacklisted by  DOT , Supreme Court of India  and other quasi judicial bodies , casewise ?

2.      What action taken by DOT & judicial bodies  against the above companies , casewise ?

3.      How many cable kms of cable  supplied by above companies ,  were rejected by  DOT  from the field yearwise , since 1986 ?

4.      Did the above companies replace all the cables rejected by DOT & make good  all the losses , yearwise ?

5.      If not , why ?

6.      What action taken by DOT , casewise ?

7.      How many cable kms of cables supplied by above companies  were  accepted on deviation  by  DOT  yearwise ? on what basis ?

8.      Has the DOT  authorised   usage of recycled  materials  in the manufacture of cables ?

9.      If yes , on what  basis ?

10.  Did  DOT  authorize  outsourcing  of cable manufacturing process  by  above  companies  to  third  parties , casewise ?

11.  How many cable kms of telecom cables  supplied by above companies  have failed  during usage  within the warranty  period , yearwise ?

12.  Did  the above companies  honour  warranty contract  in all such cases ?

13.  If not why , casewise ?

14.  What action by  DOT , casewise ?

15.  Who  maintains records  of  DOT / BSNL tenders  given out to Suppliers specifically with respect to tenders given to M/s Karnataka Telecables Ltd , M/s RPG Telecom Ltd , M/s RPG  Cables Ltd , M/s Concepta Cables Ltd  &  M/s KEC International Ltd ?

16. How may rejections / adverse reports , deviations found in the supplies made by above companies by DOT / BSNL Quality Circle ?

17. What action taken against BSNL / DOT officials who are trying to cover-up the scam inspite of my repeated appeals & RTI requests ?

YEAR TO WHICH ABOVE PERTAINS : MAJORITY OF DOCUMENTS PERTAINS TO YEAR 1995-2015 .

PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER  WHO FAILED  TO GIVE  INFORMATION :

CPIO , BSNL  HQ , New Delhi.

 

FEES PAID :  IPO 16G  733463  for rupees  TWENTY only

 

DATE :  28.03.2015 ……………..………………………NAGARAJA.M.R.

PLACE : MYSORE , INDIA….. ……………………….( APPLICANT)

 

EX-MINISTER    SUKHRAM    CONVICTED    IN     1996    TELECOM    SCAM

 

 

Former Telecom Minister Sukhram in PV Narasimha Rao’s cabinet has been convicted for awarding a lucrative contract to a private telecom firm for supplying cables to the government at inflated rates after receiving a bribe of Rs3 lakh 15 years back.

Special Judge RP Pandey, who convicted 84-year-old Sukhram also on charges of misusing his official position in awarding the contract and causing loss to the state exchequer, is likely to decide on quantum of sentence to him tomorrow.

 

The corruption case dates back to 1996, when the Telecom Ministry under Sukhram’s stewardship had awarded private firm Haryana Telecom Limited (HTL) a contract worth Rs 30 crore to supply 3.5 Lakh Conductor Kilometers (LCKM) of Polythene Insulated Jelly Filled (PIJF) cables to the telecom department.

Sukhram had been put on trial along with HTL chairman Devinder Singh Choudhary who had died during the trial.

“Sukhram also obtained (illegal) gratification other than legal remunerations from Choudhary as a motive or reward for showing the favour to the said firm (HTL),” the judge said.

The court convicted Sukhram, brushing aside his defence counsel argument that had he caused a huge pecuniary gain to HTL, he would not have taken a paltry sum of Rs3 Lakh. The court termed the argument as “devoid of merit.”

“It is not the prosecution case that Sukhram got only this much amount in this deal which runs into crores of rupees. The prosecution case is that the amount of Rs3 lakh which was recovered from him was the bribe money.

“It is a matter of common knowledge that it is virtually impossible to get any direct evidence where both i.e bribe giver and the person who takes the bribe, worked in joint concert,” ASJ Pandey said in his 188-page order.

Convicting Sukhram, the judge said though there was no direct evidence to prove the existence of conspiracy between Sukhram and Choudhary, “it is a well-known fact that conspiracy is hatched in privacy and secrecy, for which direct evidence would be rarely available.”

“The facts and circumstances show that because of proximity of co-accused D S Choudhary (since expired) with Sukh Ram, M/s HTL was his most favoured vendor,” it said.

The court also refused to accept the argument of defence counsel that after the death of co-accused Choudhary, Sukhram cannot be convicted for conspiracy.

“His (Sukhram counsel’s) submission is without basis. It is suffice to say that death of an accused only abates the case against him which was pending but it does not mitigate the offence alleged to have been committed by him in concert with his co-accused,” the judge said.

The court noted that CBI had conducted search at the Himachal Pradesh residence of Sukhram from where it had recovered over Rs 1.16 crore.

The court said the note prepared by an official of the department on October 8, 1995 had mentioned the “precarious” position of HTL and another firm and it was proposed not to award it the contract to supply cables in excess of its ability.

But, despite that Sukhram had passed an order to give the contract to HTL for supplying additional cables, it added.

 

Reliance Jio Finalises Vendors, Partners for 4G Services Launch

 

 

‘Undue favour shown to Reliance Jio’

 

 

But the Mukesh Ambani-led company says that no rules were bent.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India on Friday said Reliance Jio Infocomm got undue advantage of Rs. 3,367.29 crore after the Department of Telecom allowed it to provide voice calling services using BWA spectrum under the new licensing regime.

Infotel Broadband, which had won pan-India spectrum in the 2010 BWA spectrum auctions, was later acquired by the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries. While Infotel had outbid most of the telecom operators, being an internet service provider (ISP) its licensing conditions did not allow it to offer voice services on this spectrum.

In 2013, the Department of Telecom allowed migration of ISP licensees with BWA spectrum to unified licence that would enable them to provide voice services using BWA spectrum. In its report, the CAG said Reliance Jio was the first to “take benefit of this scheme.”

“Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited (formerly, M/s Infotel)… paid Unified License entry fee of Rs. 15 crore and additional migration fee of Rs. 1,658 crore in August 2013. This migration, allowed at prices discovered in 2001, resulted in undue advantage of Rs. 3,367.29 crore to M/s Reliance Jio Infocomm,” the CAG said in its report.

As per CAG calculations, the value of licence as on August 2013, would have been at least Rs. 5,025.29 crore.

“The decision to grant permission to an ISP licensee with BWA spectrum to operate in the voice telephony space also helped the ISP to circumvent the restrictions imposed by their licence at the time of auction, which were known to the ISP at the time of bidding for the BWA spectrum,” the auditor stated.

This was mainly because there was a lack of due diligence of in auction of spectrum.

Reliance Jio, however, denied the charges, saying, “we have acquired all our spectrum at market prices through open and transparent bidding processes, the conditions for which were same for all bidders. Further, the DoT rules for procuring the relevant licence for services using BWA spectrum too were the same for all successful bidders.”

 

Another spectrum scam hits govt, this time from ISRO

Pradeep Thakur | TNN | Feb 8, 2011, 12.10 AM IST

 

 

DELHI: Another spectrum scam has hit the UPA government which is already reeling from the fallout of allegations of corruption in the underpricing of 2G airwaves sold to telecom operators. On Monday, the government scrambled to cancel what appeared to be an improper deal where a private company would have got 70MHz of spectrum for just Rs 1,000 crore.

The scam involves the Bangalore-based Indian Space Research Organization and has a direct bearing on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who holds charge of the department of space. Both BJP and Left parties were quick to demand an investigation, stressing Singh’s cabinet responsibility.

The beneficiary, Devas Multimedia, is in a joint venture with ISRO-affiliate Antrix to offer satellite broadband services on various platforms, including mobile telephony.

The government last year earned Rs 67,719 crore just by auctioning 15MHz of similar airwaves for 3G mobile services. It got another Rs 38,000 crore by auctioning spectrum for broadband wireless access services which some operators propose to use to launch 4G services.

The Isro spectrum can be used for providing mobile broadband services using 4G technologies such as WiMax and Long-Term Evolution.

If sold at the same price the government got for 15 MHz of 3G spectrum, the sale of ISRO spectrum could have significantly lowered the fiscal deficit estimated at Rs 3.8 lakh crore this year.

With the deal under attack, ISRO indicated it could be revoked shortly. In a statement, the department of space said, “The agreement entered into by Antrix with Devas is already under review by the department of space and the government will take whatever steps are necessary to safeguard public interest. A decision on the matter is likely to be taken soon.”

The agreement between Devas Multimedia, promoted by M G Chandrasekhar, a former secretary at department of space and ISRO’s Antrix was signed in January 2005. The private entity since offloaded 17% of its stake to Deutsche Telekom for $75 million and took on other investors. This is the same as private players buying 2G spectrum cheap and selling it for large profits.

The 70 MHz spectrum gives Devas multimedia an edge over competitors, a feature that was once used by Doordarshan to deliver programmes in remote areas through satellite. This is of bigger value to the other spectrum holders in telecom, considering its high speed and mobile communication features.

Devas Multimedia said it had not received any communication regarding the contract, from ISRO or Antrix or any other government agency. “We do not own any spectrum, and the services we provide will be based on satellite transponders leased from ISRO/Antrix, wherein both — the satellite and spectrum — belong to the space research organization,” said a company statement. It claimed the GSAT 6 satellite programme had approval from the Union cabinet and Space Commission for its services, and Devas was developing an innovative satellite system.

CAG issued a statement confirming it was probing the matter, but denied it had finalized an estimate of the loss to government.

Government sources said the process to scrap the deal was underway, having been initiated two months ago. Sources said ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan had written to the PMO demanding cancellation of the agreement on the ground that it favoured Devas Multimedia.

 
The controversial deal was signed under his predecessor, G Madhavan Nair. But this may not cushion the government against criticism for allowing the deal to go through in the first place.

 
No urgency was, however, shown to revoke the deal even after the law ministry raised serious concerns about the proposal, terming it “illegal”.

 
In a statement, CAG said, “Audit of certain activities of department of space is underway. Preliminary inquiries have been raised, which is yet to be replied by the department.”

 
A newspaper report that said the national auditor had raised objections to free allocation of scarce airwaves had the Opposition sharpening its attack on the government on corruption. Both BJP and Left demanded a probe, stressing the PM was directly responsible for functioning of the space department.

“Since the department of space is under the Prime Minister, he should immediately clarify his stand on the whole issue,” BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.

CAG urges DOT to cancel Pan India 4G spectrum held by Reliance Jio

 Reliance Jio Finalises Vendors, Partners for 4G Services Launch

Comptroller & Auditor General of India in a draft report sent to the Department of Telecom for comments, said, “the DoT failed to recognise the tell-tale sign of rigging of the auction right from beginning of the auction” in which a small ISP, Infotel Broadband Services Pvt Ltd (IBSPL) emerged winner of pan-India broadband spectrum by paying 5,000 times of its net worth.

RIL, which acquired IBSPL within hours of it winning the spectrum and later renamed it Reliance Jio, said, “There is no final CAG report that we are aware of. That said we out rightly reject any suggestion whereby spectrum was acquired in any manner other than through a transparent bidding process duly supervised by Government of India.”

CAG report on Reliance Jio:

CAG says IBSPL, ranked 150th in the list of ISPs, submitted an earnest money deposit of Rs 252.50 crore through the covert and overt assistance of third party / private bank, bid for Rs 12,847.77 crore (5000 times of its net worth) for pan-India spectrum and then sold the company on the day of completion of the auction. This indicated IBSPL’s collusion and sharing of the confidential information with a third party in violation of auction conditions, said CAG.

RIL spokesperson said that as per NIA bidders were required to submit Bank Guarantee for desired amount as Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) along with its application. “EMD was based on specific deposit requirement for each telecom circle. Accordingly Infotel Broadband Services Pvt Ltd (IBSPL) submitted a Bank Guarantee of Rs 253 crore in format as prescribed in NIA. Since no money was deposited as EMD, the question of source of deposit does not arise,” RIL spokesperson said reports Outlook India .

According to CAG, due to inclusion of inadequate eligibility criterion for participation in the auction, the promoters of the IBSPL enriched themselves and made unfair gain.

CAG rejected DoT response that the eligibility criterion for participation in the auction was finalized after due diligence and on sector regulator TRAI’s recommendations saying it was department’s responsibility to ensure that only serious ISPs participated in the auction.

DoT in its response admitted that there was no eligibility criterion with respect to minimum net worth or paid up capital for participation in the auction.
The inter-ministerial committee did not satisfy itself as to how the IBSPL, a company with a net worth of Rs 2.5 crore, would be able to pay the bid amount of Rs 12,847.77 crore within ten days.

Reliance Jio’s response to CAG’s allegations:

Business line sent a questionnaire to Reliance Jio asking its views on the allegations made by CAG on its backdoor entry into voice services and rigging the BWA auctions in 2010. The response given by Rjio to CAG’s allegations has been presented in a tabulated form below.

 

 

 

 

2G spectrum scam

 

The 2G spectrum scam was an indian telecommunications scam and political scandal in which politicians and government officials under the Indian National Congress (Congress) coalition government undercharged mobile telephone companies for frequency allocation licenses, which they then used to create 2G spectrum subscriptions for cell phones. The difference between the money collected and that mandated to be collected was estimated by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India at ₹1.76 trillion (US$26 billion), based on 2010 3G and BWA spectrum-auction prices.[1] In a chargesheet filed on 2 April 2011 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI, the investigating agency), the loss was pegged at ₹309845.5 million(US$4.6 billion).[2] In a 19 August 2011 reply to the CBI, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) said that the government had gained over ₹30 billion (US$440 million) by selling 2G spectrum.[2] Minister of Communications & IT Kapil Sibal said in a 2011 press conference that “zero loss” was incurred by distributing 2G licenses on a first-come-first-served basis.[3]

On 2 February 2012, the Supreme Court of India ruled on a public interest litigation (PIL) related to the 2G spectrum scam. The court declared the allotment of spectrum “unconstitutional and arbitrary”, cancelling the 122 licenses issued in 2008 under A. Raja (Minister of Communications & IT from 2007 to 2009), the primary official accused.[4] According to the court, Raja “wanted to favour some companies at the cost of the public exchequer” and “virtually gifted away important national asset[s].”[5] The zero-loss theory was discredited[6] on 3 August 2012 when, after a Supreme Court directive, the government of India revised the base price for 5-MHz 2G spectrum auctions to ₹140 billion (US$2.1 billion), raising its value to about ₹28 billion(US$410 million) per MHz (near the Comptroller and Auditor General estimate of ₹33.5 billion (US$490 million) per MHz).[7][8]

Although the policy for awarding licences was first-come, first-served, Raja changed the rules so it applied to compliance with conditions instead of the application itself.[9] On 10 January 2008, companies were given only a few hours to supply Letters of Intent and payments; some executives were allegedly tipped off by Raja, and they (and the minister) were imprisoned.[9] In 2011 Time ranked the scam second on their “Top 10 Abuses of Power” list, behind the Watergate scandal.[10][11][12]

 

Background[edit]

India is divided into 22 telecommunications zones, with 281 zonal licenses.[13] In 2008, 122 new second-generation 2G Unified Access Service (UAS) licenses were granted to telecom companies on a first-come, first-served basis at the 2001 price. According to the CBI charge sheet, several laws were violated and bribes paid to favour certain firms in granting 2G spectrum licenses. According to a CAG audit, licenses were granted to ineligible corporations, those with no experience in the telecom sector (such as Unitech and Swan Telecom)[14] and those who had concealed relevant information.[15] Although former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh advised Raja to allot 2G spectrum transparently and revise the license fee in a November 2007 letter, Raja rejected many of Singh’s recommendations.[16] In another letter that month, the Ministry of Finance expressed procedural concerns to the DOT;[16] these were ignored, and the cut-off date was moved forward from 1 October 2007 to 25 September.[16] On 25 September, the DOT announced on its website that applicants filing between 3:30 and 4:30 pm that day would be granted licenses.[16] Although the corporation was ineligible, Swan Telecom was granted a license[14] for ₹15.37 billion (US$230 million) and sold a 45-percent share to the UAE-based Etisalat for ₹42 billion (US$620 million).[14] Unitech Wireless (a subsidiary of the Unitech Group) obtained a license for ₹16.61 billion (US$240 million), selling a 60-percent share for₹62 billion (US$910 million) to Norway-based Telenor.[14]

This is a list of companies who received 2G licenses during Raja’s term as telecom minister;[17][18] the licenses were later cancelled by the Supreme Court:[19][20]

Company

Telecom regions

# of licenses

Remarks

Adonis Projects Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh (East) 6 Adonis Projects, Nahan Properties, Aska Projects, Volga Properties, Azare Properties & Hudson Properties were acquired by Unitech. Since Unitech Infrastructure and Unitech Builders & Estates were subsidiaries of Unitech Group, in 2008 Unitech had 22 2G licenses. Later that year, Telenor bought a majority share in the telecom company from the Unitech Group and now provides service as Uninor with 22 licences.
Nahan Properties Assam, Bihar, North East, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh (east), West Bengal 6
Aska Projects Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka 3
Volga Properties Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra 3
Azure Properties Kolkata 1
Hudson Properties Delhi 1
Unitech Builders & Estates Tamil Nadu (including Chennai) 1
Unitech Infrastructures Mumbai 1
Loop Telecom Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Kolkata, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha(Orissa), Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh 21
Datacom Solutions Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Delhi, Mumbai 21 Operates as Videocon Telecom
Shyam Telelink Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Kolkata, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Assam, Jammu & Kashmir, North East 17 Shyam Telelink & Shyani Telelink have a combined 21 licenses. In late 2008 Russia-basedSistema bought a majority share in the company, which now operates as MTS India.
Shyani Telelink Mumbai, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh 4
Swan Telecom Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu (including Chennai), Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Mumbai 13 Swan was a subsidiary of Reliance Telecom established to circumvent the one-company-one-license rule. In 2008, Swan merged with Allianz Infratech; late in the year Abu Dhabi’s Etisalat bought about 45 percent of the company, renaming it Etisalat DB Telecom.
Allianz Infratech Bihar, Madhya Pradesh 2
Idea Cellular Assam, Punjab, Karnataka, Jammu and Kashmir, North East, Kolkata, West Bengal, Odisha(Orissa), Tamil Nadu (including Chennai) 9 Since Idea Cellular bought Spice Communications in 2008 for ₹27 billion (US$400 million),[21]of the 122 spectrum licenses sold in 2008 Idea owns 13. Seven are in use by the company, and the remainder are overlapping licenses.[22]
Spice Communications Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra 4
S Tel Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha(Orissa), North East, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh 6 In January 2009, Bahrain Telecommunications agreed to buy 49 percent of S Tel for $225 million. Chinnakannan Sivasankaran owns the remaining share.[23][24] In May 2009,Sahara Group bought an 11.7-percent share in S Tel.[25]
Tata Teleservices Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, North East 3 In late 2008 Tata sold a 26-percent share to the Japanese NTT DoCoMo for about₹130.7 billion (US$1.9 billion), or an enterprise value of ₹502.69 billion (US$7.4 billion).[26]

Accused parties[edit]

The selling of the licenses drew attention to three groups: politicians and bureaucrats, who had the authority to sell licenses; corporations buying the licenses, and professionals who mediated between the politicians and corporations.

Politicians[edit]

The following charges were filed by the CBI and the Directorate General of Income Tax Investigation in the Special CBI Court.[27][28][29][30]

A. Raja[edit]

·         Political career: Four-time DMK member of Parliament (present constituency Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu), former Union Minister of State for Rural Development (1999) and Health and Family Welfare (2003), former Union Cabinet Minister for Environment and Forests (2004) and Communication and Information Technology (2007 and 2009)[31][32][33][34]

·         Allegation: A joint investigative report by the CBI and the Income Tax Department alleged that Raja may have received a ₹30 billion (US$440 million) bribe for moving the cut-off date for spectrum applications forward.[35][36] The changed deadline eliminated many applications, enabling Raja to favour a few applicants.[35][36] The agencies also alleged that he used accounts in his wife’s name in Mauritius and Seychelles banks for the kickbacks.[37] A CBI charge sheet alleged that Raja conspired with the accused and arbitrarily refined the first-come, first-served policy to ensure that Swan and Unitech received licences.[38] Instead of auctioning 2G spectrum, he sold it at the 2001 rate.[38]

·         Charges: Criminal breach of trust by a public servant (section 409), criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420) and forgery (Sections 468 and 471); booked under thePrevention of Corruption Act for accepting illegal gratification.[27][39][40]

·         Status: Arrested by the CBI on 2 February 2011.[41] Applied for bail on 9 May 2012,[42][43] which was granted on 15 May.[44][45][46] As of August 2012, his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

M. K. Kanimozhi[edit]

·         Political career: Daughter of five-time Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi. DMK member of Parliament, representing Tamil Nadu in the Rajya Sabha.[48][49]

·         Allegations: According to the CBI charge sheet, Kanimozhi owns 20 percent of family-owned Kalaignar TV; her stepmother, Dayalu Ammal, owns 60 percent of the channel.[50] The CBI alleges that Kanimozhi was the “active brain” behind the channel[50] and conspired with Raja to coerce DB Realty cofounder Shahid Balwa to funnel ₹2 billion (US$29 million) to Kalaignar TV.[51] Kanimozhi was in regular contact with Raja about the launch of Kalaignar TV.[51] Raja advanced the channel’s cause, facilitating its registration with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and adding it to DTH operator TATA Sky‘s lineup. Kanimozhi was charged with tax evasion by the Income Tax Department in Chennai.[51]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant and criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420) and forgery (Sections 468 and 471), and booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act.[27][39]

·         Status: Arrested by the CBI on 20 May 2011.[52][53] Granted bail on 28 November 2011, after 188 days in custody.[54][55] As of August 2012, her trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Bureaucrats[edit]

A number of bureaucrats were named in the CBI charge sheet filed in its Special Court.[27][28][29][30]

Siddharth Behura[edit]

·         Position: Telecom Secretary when the licenses were granted.[27][56]

·         Allegations: According to the CBI charge sheet, Behura conspired with Raja and several others. When the application deadline time was declared, from 3:30 to 4:30 pm Behura closed counters to block other telecom companies.[14]

·         Charges: Criminal breach of trust by a public servant (Section 409), criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420) and forgery (Sections 468 and 471); booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act for accepting illegal gratuities.[27][57]

·         Status: Arrested by the CBI on 2 February 2011[41] and granted bail on 9 May 2012,[58][59] as of August 2012 his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47] In a 10 July 2012 joint parliamentary committee deposition, Behura blamed Raja for most of the decisions related to 2G spectrum auctions.[60]

RK Chandolia[edit]

·         Position: Raja’s private secretary when the licenses were granted.[27][61]

·         Allegations: According to the CBI charge sheet Chandolia, like Behura, conspired with Raja and several others; when the application deadline time was declared from 3:30 to 4:30 pm, Chandolia joined Behura in shutting counters to physically block other telecom companies.[14]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy (Section 120 B), cheating (Section 420) and forgery (Sections 468 and 471); booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act[27]

·         Status: Arrested by the CBI on 2 February 2011.[41] Although he was granted bail by the special CBI court on 1 December 2011, the following day the High Court took suo motu notice of newspaper reports of the bail and stayed it.[62] Chandolia appealed to the Supreme Court, and on 9 May 2012 the court upheld the bail grant.[63] As of August 2012, his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Executives[edit]

A number of executives were accused in the CBI charge sheet.[27][28][29][30]

Sanjay Chandra[edit]

·         Position: Former Unitech Wireless managing director[27]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420) and forgery (Sections 468 and 471); booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act[27]

·         Allegations: Former CBI prosecutor AK Singh was implicated in a taped conversation sharing legal strategy and privileged information with Chandra.[64][65]

·         Status: Arrested by the CBI on 20 April 2011[66][67] and granted bail on 24 November,[68] as of August 2012 his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Gautam Doshi[edit]

·         Position: Managing director, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group[27]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420) and forgery (Sections 468 and 471); booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act[27]

·         Status: Arrested by the CBI on 20 April 2011[66] and granted bail on 24 November,[68] as of August 2012 his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Hari Nair[edit]

·         Position: Senior vice-president, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group[27]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420) and forgery (Sections 468 and 471); booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act[27]

·         Status: Arrested by the CBI on 20 April 2011[66] and granted bail on 24 November,[68] as of August 2012 his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Surendra Pipara[edit]

·         Position: Senior vice-president, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group[27]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420) and forgery (Sections 468 and 471); booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act[27]

·         Status: Arrested by the CBI on 20 April 2011[66] and granted bail on 24 November,[68] as of August 2012 his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Vinod Goenka[edit]

·         Position: Managing director, DB Realty and Swan Telecom[27]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy (Section 120 B), cheating (Section 420), forgery (Sections 468 and 471) and fabrication of evidence (Section 193); booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act[27]

·         Status: Arrested by the CBI on 20 April 2011[66] and granted bail on 24 November,[68] as of August 2012 his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Shahid Balwa[edit]

·         PositionCorporate promoter, DB Realty and Swan Telecom[27]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420), forgery (Sections 468 and 471) and fabrication of evidence (Section 193); booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act[27]

·         Status: Arrested by the CBI on 8 February 2011[69] and granted bail on 29 November,[70] as of August 2012 his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Asif Balwa[edit]

·         Position: Director, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables[27]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420), forgery (Sections 468 and 471) and fabrication of evidence (Section 193); booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act[27]

·         Status: Arrested by the CBI on 29 March 2011[71] and granted bail on 28 November,[72] as of August 2012 his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Rajiv Agarwal[edit]

·         Position: Director, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables[27]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420), forgery (Sections 468 and 471) and fabrication of evidence (Section 193); booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act[27]

·         Status: Arrested by the CBI on 29 March 2011[71] and granted bail on 28 November,[72] as of August 2012 his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Sharath Kumar[edit]

·         Position: Managing director, Kalaignar TV[27]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420), forgery (Sections 468 and 471) and fabrication of evidence (Section 193); booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act[27]

·         Status: Arrested by the CBI on 20 May 2011[73] and granted bail on 28 November 2011,[74] as of August 2012 his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Ravi Ruia[edit]

·         Position: Vice-chair, Essar Group[75][76]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy (Section 120 B) and cheating (Section 420)[75][76]

·         Status: At large;[77] as of August 2012, his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Anshuman Ruia[edit]

·         Position: Director, Essar Group[75][76]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy (Section 120 B) and cheating (Section 420).[75][76]

·         Status: At large;[77] as of August 2012, his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Vikas Saraf[edit]

·         Position: Director of strategy and planning, Essar Group[75][76]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy (Section 120 B) and cheating (Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code)[75][76]

·         Status: At large;[77] as of August 2012, his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

IP Khaitan[edit]

·         Position: Corporate promoter, Loop Telecom[75][76]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy under (Section 120 B) and cheating (Section 420)[75][76]

·         Status: At large;[77] as of August 2012, his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Kiran Khaitan[edit]

·         Position: Corporate promoter, Loop Telecom[75][76]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy (Section 120 B) and cheating (Section 420)[75][76]

·         Status: At large;[77] as of August 2012, his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Karim Morani[edit]

·         Position: Corporate promoter and director, Cineyug Films[27]

·         Allegations: According to the Income Tax Department charge sheet, Morani-owned Cineyug Films was a part of the route used by Shahid Balwa to funnel[78] ₹2 billion (US$29 million) illegally to Kalaignar TV.[78] DB Realty corporate promoters Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka transferred ₹2092.5 million (US$31 million) to Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables, where Balwa’s younger brother Asif was a director.[78][79] Kusegaon then transferred ₹2 billion (US$29 million) to Cineyug Films, and Morani transferred it to Kalaignar TV.[78]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420), forgery (Sections 468 and 471) and fabrication of evidence (Section 193); booked under the Prevention of Corruption Act[27]

·         Status: Arrested by the CBI on 30 May 2011[80] and granted bail on 28 November,[74] as of August 2012 his trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Corporations[edit]

Several companies were named in the CBI charge sheet.[27][28][29][30]

Unitech Wireless[edit]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B), cheating (Section 420) and forgery (Sections 468 and 471) [27]

·         Status: As of August 2012, trial underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Reliance Telecom[edit]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B) and cheating (Section 420)[27]

·         Status: As of August 2012, trial was underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Swan Telecom[edit]

·         Charges: Criminal conspiracy to cause criminal breach of trust by a public servant, criminal conspiracy (Section 120-B) and cheating (Section 420)[27]

·         Status: As of August 2012, trial underway in Special CBI Court.[47]

Other companies named in the charge sheet were:[81][82][83]

·         Loop Telecom

·         Loop Mobile India

·         Essar Tele Holding

·         Essar Group (corporate parent of Essar Tele Holding)

Media role[edit]

Main article: Radia tapes controversy

OPEN and Outlook reported that journalists Barkha Dutt (editor of NDTV) and Vir Sanghvi (editorial director of the Hindustan Times) knew that corporate lobbyist Nira Radia influenced Raja’s appointment as telecom minister,[84] publicising Radia’s phone conversations with Dutt and Sanghvi[85][86] when Radia’s phone was tapped by the Income Tax Department. According to critics, Dutt and Sanghvi knew about the link between the government and the media industry but delayed reporting the corruption.[84]

 

 

Licence cancellations[edit]

On 2 February 2012 the Supreme Court ruled on petitions filed by Subramanian Swamy and the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) represented by Prashant Bhushan, challenging the 2008 allotment of 2G licenses,[207] cancelling all 122 spectrum licences granted during Raja’s term as communications minister.[207] and described the allocation of 2G spectrum as “unconstitutional and arbitrary”.[208] The bench of GS Singhvi and Asok Kumar Ganguly imposed a fine of ₹50 million (US$740,000) on Unitech Wireless, Swan Telecom and Tata Teleservices and a ₹5 million (US$74,000) fine on Loop TelecomS Tel, Allianz Infratech and Sistema Shyam Tele Services.[4] According to the ruling the current licences would remain in place for four months, after which time the government would reissue the licences.[209]

In its ruling the court said that former telecom minister A. Raja “wanted to favour some companies at the cost of the public exchequer”, listing seven steps he took to ensure this:[4][210]

1.     After becoming telecom minister, Raja directed that all applications for spectrum licences would be held pending Telecom Regulatory Authority of India recommendations.[4][210]

2.     The 28 August 2007 TRAI recommendations were not presented to the full Telecom Commission, which would have included the finance secretary. Although the TRAI recommendations for allocation of 2G spectrum had serious financial implications (and finance ministry input was required under the Government of India Transaction of Business Rules, 1961), Telecom Commission non-permanent members were not notified of the meeting.[4][210]

3.     The DoT officers attending the 10 October 2007 Telecom Commission meeting were coerced into approving the TRAI recommendations, or they would have “incurred” Raja’s “wrath”.[4][210]

4.     Since the Cabinet had approved the Group of Ministers recommendations, the DoT had to discuss the issue of spectrum pricing with the finance ministry. However, Raja did not consult the finance minister or other officials because the finance secretary had objected to allocating 2G spectrum at 2001 rates.[4][210]

5.     Raja dismissed the law minister’s suggestion that the issue should be presented to the Group of Ministers. After receiving the PM’s 2 November 2007 letter suggesting transparency in spectrum allocation of the spectrum, Raja said it would be unfair, discriminatory, arbitrary and capricious to auction spectrum to new applicants because it would not give them a level playing field. Although a 24 September DoT press release said that 1 October would be the application deadline, he changed the deadline to 25 September. Raja’s arbitrary action, “though appear[ing] to be innocuous was actually intended to benefit some of the real estate firms who did not have any experience in dealing with telecom services and who had made applications only on 24 September 2007, i.e. one day before the cut-off date fixed by the C&IT minister on his own”.[4][210]

6.     The 25 September cut-off date decided by Raja on 2 November was not made public until a 10 January 2008 press release in which he changed the first-come, first-served principle which had been in operation since 2003. “This enabled some of the applicants, who had access either to the minister or DoT officers, get bank drafts prepared towards performance guarantee of about Rs 16 billion”.[4][210]

7.     “The manner in which the exercise for grant of LoIs to the applicants was conducted on 10 January 2008 leaves no room for doubt that everything was stage managed to favour those who were able to know in advance change in the implementation of the first-come-first-served policy.” As a result, some companies who had submitted applications in 2004 or 2006 were pushed down the list in favour of those who had applied in August and September 2007.[4][210]

Companies affected by cancellations[edit]

The table below lists the companies whose license were cancelled.[211][212]

Company

Parent company

# of licences cancelled

Uninor Joint venture of Unitech Group of India and Telenor of Norway Unitech Group 22
Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited, now MTS India Joint venture of the Shyam Group of India and Sistema of Russia 21
Loop Mobile (formerly BPL Mobile) Khaitan Holding Group 21
Videocon Telecom Videocon 21
Etisalat-DB Joint venture of Swan Telecom of India and Etisalat of the UAE 15
Idea Cellular Aditya Birla Group (49.05%), Axiata (Malaysia, 15%) & Providence Equity Partners (U.S., 10.6%) 13
S Tel Joint venture of C Sivasankaran of India and Batelco of Bahrain. After the Supreme Court ruling, Batelco sold its 42.7% share to Sivasankaran-owned Sky City Foundation for 65.8 million Bahraini dinar ($174.5 million).[213][214][215] 6
Tata Teleservices Tata Group 3

Aftermath[edit]

See also: Uninor controversies

In addition to Batelco’s exit, on 21 February 2012 Telenor (the majority shareholder in Uninor) terminated its agreement with Unitech and sued it for “indemnity and compensation”.[216][217][218] On 23 February 2012, Etisalat of Etasalat-DB Telecom sued DB Realty corporate promoters Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka for fraud and misrepresentation.[219][220][221]

Aircel-Maxis deal controversy[edit]

See also: C SivasankaranDayanidhi MaranT Ananda Krishnan, and Maxis Communications

On 6 June 2011 former Aircel chief C. Sivasankaran complained to the CBI about not receiving a telecom licence and being forced by telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran to sell Aircel to the Malaysia-based Maxis Communications group, owned by T. Ananda Krishnan. The licences were allegedly issued after the deal was made. Sivasankaran also alleged that brothers Dayanidhi and Kalanithi Maran received kickbacks in the form of investments by the Maxis group through the Astro network in Sun TV Network, owned by the Maran family.[145][146][147] In the wake of the allegations, Maran resigned on 7 July.[222]

On 10 October, the CBI registered a case and raided properties owned by the Marans. CBI sources said that although no evidence of coercion was found in the Aircel sale, they found substantial evidence that Maran had favoured the company’s takeover by Maxis and deliberately delayed Sivasankar’s files.[145][146][147] On 8 February 2012, the Enforcement Directorate registered a money-laundering case against the Maran brothers[182] for allegedly receiving illegal compensation of about ₹5.5 billion in the Aircel-Maxis deal.[183]

During the CBI probe Sivasankaran said that the Maran brothers had forced him to sell his 74% share in Aircel to Maxis by threatening his life, giving the CBI a list of over 10 witnesses. In September 2012, the CBI said it finished its Indian investigation and was awaiting the response to a letter rogatory sent to Malaysia and a questionnaire from T. Ananda Krishnan before filing a chargesheet.[223] On 29 August 2014, the CBI filed a chargesheet against Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi Maran, Malaysian businessman T Ananda Krishnan, Malaysian national Augustus Ralph Marshall, six others and four firms — Sun Direct TV Pvt Ltd, Maxis Communication Berhad, Astro All Asia Network PLC and South Asia Entertainment Holding Ltd as accused in the case.[224] On 29 October 2014, special CBI judge OP Saini said that he found enough evidence to proceed with the prosecution and hence summoned former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and others as accused.[225] Based on the CBI chargesheet, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on 1 April 2015, attached Maran brothers’ properties worth Rs 742 crore.[226]

Subramanian Swamy alleged that in 2006 a company controlled by Karti Chidambaram, the son of Minister of Finance P. Chidambaram, received a five-percent share of Aircel to get part of₹40 billion paid by Maxis Communications for the 74-percent share of Aircel. According to Swamy, Chidambaram withheld Foreign Investment Promotion Board clearance of the deal until his son received the five-percent share in Siva’s company.[227] The issue was raised a number of times in Parliament by the opposition, which demanded Chidambaram’s resignation.[228]Although he and the government denied the allegations,[229] The Pioneer and India Today reported the existence of documents showing that Chidambaram delayed approval of the foreign direct investment proposal by about seven months.[227][230][231]

Response to scam[edit]

When Indian media began citing the CAG report identifying the loss at ₹1.76 trillion (short scale), the Indian opposition parties unanimously demanded the formation of a joint parliamentary committee to investigate the scam.[232][233] Although the government rejected their demand,[233] when the winter session of Parliament began on 9 November 2010 the opposition again pressed for a JPC; again, their demand was rejected.[233] The demand for a JPC gained further momentum when the CAG report was tabled in Parliament on 16 November 2010.[234] The opposition blocked the proceedings, again pressing for a JPC;[235] the government again rejected their demand, creating an impasse.[236] Speaker of the Lok Sabha Meira Kumarunsuccessfully attempted to resolve the impasse.[237] The winter session of Parliament concluded on 13 December 2010. Although 22 new bills were planned to be introduced, 23 pending bills passed and three bills withdrawn, Parliament functioned for only nine hours.[238] On 22 February 2011, after resisting opposition demands for over three months, the government announced that it would form a JPC.[239] The JPC criticised the CBI for its leniency to the PM, the Attorney General, Dayanidhi Maran and Chidambaram and its reluctance to investigate their roles on 24 July 2012.[240] After questioning former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran, his brother Kalanithi and the head of Maxis Communications, the CBI alleged that the Maran brothers accrued an illegal ₹5.50 billion by the sale of Sun Direct TV shares at highly “inflated prices”.[241]

In early November 2010 Jayalalithaa accused state chief minister M Karunanidhi of protecting Raja from corruption charges, calling for Raja’s resignation.[242] By mid-November, Raja resigned.[243] At that time, comptroller Vinod Rai issued show-cause notices to Unitech, S Tel, Loop Mobile, Datacom (Videocon) and Etisalat to respond to his assertion that the 85 licenses granted to these companies did not have the capital required at application or were otherwise illegal.[244] It was speculated that because these companies provide some consumer service, they would receive large fines but retain their licenses.[244]

In June 2011 Prime Minister Manmohan Singh criticised the CAG for commenting on policy issues, warning it “to limit the office to the role defined in the constitution.”[245] After Singh’s criticism the CAG conducted a “rigorous internal appraisal” and stood by its findings, citing additional events as corroboration. The CAG reiterated that there was “an undeniable loss to the exchequer”, the calculation of which was based on three estimates: the 3G auctions and the Swan and Unitech transactions. It cited the Supreme Court ruling of 2 February 2012 that the actions of Raja and officers at the Department of Telecom were “wholly arbitrary, capricious and contrary to the public interest, apart from being violative of the doctrine of equality. The material produced for the quote showed that the Minister for C&IT wanted to favour some companies at the cost of the public exchequer.” It said its estimate of loss of 1.76-lakh crore was justified, since the May 2012 TRAI collation of reserve prices for 2G spectrum was about the same as that in the November 2010 CAG report. TRAI had recommended a reserve price for 2G spectrum of ₹180 billion for a pan-India 5 MHz licence, higher than the 3G value of ₹167.50 billion for 5 MHz used by the CAG for arriving at a loss figure of ₹1,760 billion. It concluded that it was only examining the “implementation of policy”, and policy-making was the government’s prerogative.[246]

 

 

 

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