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SC Notice To Centre, Raja On CBI Probe Into 2G Spectrum

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the government and Telecom Minister A Raja to reply to a bunch of petitions alleging that there was a Rs 70,000 crore scam in the grant of
PTI September 13, 2010 17:28 IST
PTI
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the government and Telecom Minister A Raja to reply to a bunch of petitions alleging that there was a Rs 70,000 crore scam in the grant of telecom licences in 2008 and that the Centre was trying to put a lid on the investigations.

Hearing three petitions filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) and others, a bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly sent notices to the Telecom Ministry and Raja and asked for replies within 10 days.

The bench wanted to know how the CBI did not know against whom the investigations were on, despite continuing the process for several months and filing a FIR against unknown telecom ministry officials.

Stating that the investigation related to alleged criminal conspiracy between certain public servants and private persons for grant of Unified Access Service (telecom) licences, the petitioners claimed that certain middlemen, including a consultant Niira Radia, were involved in this.

Challenging the dismisal of their petitions by the High Court on May 25, this year, the petitioners asked the apex court to call for entire records of investigation from CBI and the Enforcement Directorate into the alleged 2G spectrum scam and dircet them to produce regular and periodic status reports.

 The petitioners, including Telecom Watchdog, an NGO, and an individual, submitted the transcript of an alleged conversation between Raja and Radia, who heads Vaishnavi Corporate Communications, to substantiate their charges of the nexus that influenced granting of licences.

"The entire investigation has been effectively scuttled. Radia, whose conversation tape with telecom minister has been available with CBI for about nine months, has not even been called for questioning," the petition said, alleging that investigations are being scuttled to protect vested political interests, corporate and other middlemen involved.

The petitioners also produced several communications, including from Prime Minister Manmohan and the then Finance Secretary and others, to Raja asking him to ensure that 2G spectrum was allocated in a fair, transparent and efficient manner. PTI