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2G case: Sanjay Chandra questions key witness

"It is wrong to suggest that I was the brain behind all the decisions taken in the DoT during the aforesaid period," he told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

Updated: Sep 18, 2012, 19:42 PM IST

New Delhi: Unitech Ltd Managing Director (MD) Sanjay Chandra, an accused in the 2G spectrum case, today cross-examined a former top telecom official in a Delhi court saying he was the "brain" behind the decisions on the allocation of radio waves.

However, A K Srivastava, a former Deputy Director General (AS) of Department of Telecom (DoT), refuted the allegations put forward by Chandra's counsel that the non-recording of "dissenting note" by him on the issues relating to the policy for allocation of the spectrum suggested that he was the "brain" behind the entire episode.

"I do not recall ever having recorded a dissenting note on any issue on any file during the period September 2007 to January 2008 regarding policy decision and processing of applications.

"It is wrong to suggest that I was the brain behind all the decisions taken in the DoT during the aforesaid period," he told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

The statement by the former DoT official was made during his cross examination as a prosecution witness by Chandra's counsel Rebecca John when she put a question to him as to why he had not recorded any dissenting note on the DoT's policy decision and processing of applications for the Unified Access Service Licence (UASL).

Srivastava, whose cross examination concluded today, said he did not know if Unitech Group had first attempted to file its applications for UASL to the DoT on September 21, 2007 and had sent intimation to the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (NSE) about it on that day itself.

On being asked about the decision regarding the processing of applications received till September 25, 2007, the witness said that he was not a "party" to it and it was taken by Raja.

The CBI, in its charge sheet, had said that in pursuance of a conspiracy to favour the telecom firms, Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd and Swan Telecom, Raja had decided to accept applications filed with the DoT till September 25, 2007 only.

Srivastava told the court that then telecom secretary D S Mathur had recorded in a DoT note of October 25, 2007, that in view of the inadequacy of the spectrum, there was no question of granting letter of intents (LoIs) to all the 575 applicants who had applied till the cut-off date of October 1, 2007.

"I do not know if this was the reason that DoT decided not to process all the applications received up till October 1, 2007," he said.

He denied that he was being "tutored" by the CBI to depose in the court that Raja's then private secretary R K Chandolia, also an accused in the case, had on September 24, 2007, asked him to stop receiving applications for grant of licences after Unitech Group submits it on that day itself.

"It is wrong to suggest that I have deposed about the event of filing of UASL applications of Unitech group with the DoT falsely and artificially...It is wrong to suggest that I have been tutored and coached by the CBI about the statement to be made by me in the court," he said.

Srivastava was shown the list of applicant companies in a DoT file and he said that 43 UASL applications were received in the department on September 25, 2007 pertaining to Shyam Telelinks and Selene Infrastructure.

He said as per the UASL Guidelines of December 14, 2005, there was no restriction on non-telecom companies for filing applications for UASL as experience in telecom business was not one of the requirements

Raja and Chandra, alongwith others, are facing trial in the case for various offences like cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and faking documents under the IPC and for the offences punishable under Prevention of Corruption Act.