2G: JPC to call all former Telecom Ministers from 1998

JPC decided to call all former Telecom Ministers since 1998 to depose before it.

New Delhi: The Joint Parliamentary Committee
(JPC) examining telecom policies in the wake of the 2G scam
on Tuesday decided to call all former Telecom Ministers since 1998,
including A Raja to depose before it.

CBI Director AP Singh and two senior CBI officials
briefed the JPC on the probe agency`s inputs related to its
investigation into the scam, Committee Chairman PC Chacko
told reporters here.

Singh briefed the JPC on the investigation into the 2G
scam and said a third charge sheet into the matter would be
filed during the current month.

Chacko said the CBI was also probing the alleged delay of
two years in granting telecom licences to Aircel between 2004
and 2006. Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran was heading the
telecom ministry then.

Fourteen licences were issued to Aircel Maxis in 2004 but
the licences were given in 2006. "The CBI is probing why there
was a delay," Chacko said.

Singh and his team briefed the JPC about the "progress and
findings" into the alleged irregularities into the 2G spectrum
allocation in January 2008.

Chacko said the JPC has also finalised a list of 85
witnesses who would be asked to be present for recording of
evidence in connection with the telecom policies.

Secretaries of the Departments of Telecom, Law, Finance,
Revenue Corporate Affairs will be asked to appear before the
JPC, he said.

"All former Telecom Ministers since 1998 will also be
called for recording of evidence," Chacko said.

Asked whether Raja, who is in prison in connection with
the 2G allocations, would be called, he said the Committee can
issue summons to those in jail be produced before it.

"They will be produced before the Committee by the
authorities," was all Chacko said to persistent questions on
whether Raja or Shahid Balwa of the DB Realty-Swan Telecom
would be asked to appear as witnesses before the JPC.

Chacko said TRAI Chairman JS Sarma, Attorney General
Goolam Vahanvati, CBI Director AP Singh will be among those
who would be asked to appear as witnesses before the JPC.

All the former chairmen of TRAI, former Secretaries of the
Department of Telecom, former Finance Secretary, BSNL Chairman
between 1997-98, representatives of 11 firms which benefited
in 2008 and 22 private companies which got advantage due to
1999 telecom migration policy will be asked to appear.

Chacko said the Committee has not received any suggestion
to call officials of the Prime Minister`s Office as witnesses.

He termed as unfortunate reports in a section of the media
that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee would be
called for recording of evidence by the JPC.


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