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SC for probing NDA’s spectrum policy
Published on 8 Dec. 2010 11:16 PM IST
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In a significant development in the ongoing probe into the irregularities in the allocation of the 2G spectrum, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said that the “first-come-first-serve” policy followed during 2001-02 by the NDA government also needs to be looked into.
While seeking details from the CBI about the progress of its probe, the apex court has opined that the scam could not be of Rs 1.76 lakh crore only and could be much wider than that.
“The issue raised in the case is not only limited to Rs 1.76 lakh crore but has a much wider compass. We would not like to prejudice the probe. But, what happened in 2001 needs to be looked into. It is for the CBI to investigate and find out,” a bench of justices G S Singhvi and AK Ganguly said.
The CBI has on its part said that it would wind up its probe into the entire issue by March 2011 and requested the court-monitored probe to be continued – without involving the Central Vigilance Commission.
The courts observation has now put the policy adopted by the BJP-led NDA government with regards to spectrum allocation under the scanner and will surely embolden the UPA government to counter BJP in and out of the Parliament.
Notably, former telecom minister and main accused in the scam, A Raja has defended himself time and again saying that he only followed the policy enunciated during the NDA regime.
Commenting on the policy of transfer of dual technology -- CDMA and GSM, the court said that while the notification for the dual technology was issued on October 19, 2009, one of the service providers was given the permission a day earlier.
“What TR Addhyarujina (counsel for A Raja) has pointed out is one thing more than what meets the eyes,” the bench said.
The bench further said that even the CAG has not gone into the issue of dual technology.
“This matter has not been investigated,” the bench said.
Parliament was again adjourned today for the 19th straight day over the 2G scam. The Opposition is demanding a JPC probe into alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation.
Meanwhile, the CBI today carried out searches at Raja’s residences in Delhi and Chennai besides carrying out raids at the premises of four Telecom officials, including his personal secretary RK Chandolia.
Raja was forced to resign as minister on November 14 in the wake of CAG’s report that the rates at which 2G spectrum was allotted resulted in a possible loss to the exchequer to the tune of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

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