SC finds no fault with PM, PC in 2G allocation
While the Supreme Court on Thursday came down heavily on former Telecom Minister A Raja, it has not found any fault on the part of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram or the Ministry he headed.
New Delhi: While the Supreme Court on Thursday came down heavily on former Telecom Minister A Raja, it has not found any fault on the part of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram or the Ministry he headed.
The judgement has strongly indicted Raja over the manner in which he manipulated the issue of licenses and ordered cancellation of the 122 2G licenses in 22 circles.
The two-member bench of Justices G S Singhvi and Ashok Ganguly found that telecom regulator TRAI's recommendations of 2007 on the policy of first-come first-serve basis was placed before the Telecom Commission in October but the four non-permanent members, including the Finance Secretary, were not even informed about the meeting.
A week later, Raja accepted the recommendations of the Telecom Commission and approved the TRAI's recommendation but did not get in touch with the Ministry of Finance to discuss and finalise the spectrum pricing formula.
"However, as the Minister of C &IT (Raja) was very much concious of the fact that the Secretary, Finance, had objected to the allocation of 2G spectrum at the rates fixed in 2001, he did not consult the Finance Minister (Chidambaram) or the officers of the Finance Ministry," the judgement said.
Raja sent a letter in November, 2007 to the Prime Minister saying the Department of Telecom has decided to continue with the existing policy. He did not bother to consider the suggestion made by the Prime Minister that in view of the inadequate availability of spectrum fairness and transparency should be maintained in its allocation.