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2G sale: Delhi HC refuses to monitor CBI probe

The Delhi High Court today dismissed a petition requesting it to monitor the CBI probe into the alleged role of Union Communications Minister A Raja in the 2008 sale of 2G spectrum licences.



New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today
dismissed a petition requesting it to monitor the CBI probe
into the alleged role of Union Communications Minister A Raja
in the 2008 sale of 2G spectrum licences.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice
M B Lokur dismissed the petition filed by two city-based NGOs,
Telecom Watchdog and the Centre for Public Interest
Litigation.

"We will not monitor the investigation," the court said,
adding that it would be unfair to not show confidence in the
CBI while it was still probing the issue.

In their petition, the NGOs had requested the bench to
direct a court-monitored investigation into the 2G spectrum
scam for "unearthing the role of Respondent 5 (Raja), senior
officers of DoT, and middlemen involved".

The NGOs had further alleged that DoT, under the
ministership of Raja, had given away the 2G spectrum to 122
operators at a throwaway price of Rs 1,658 crore for pan-India
licences on a first-come-first-serve basis in January 2008.

Raja was expected to take the auction route for allotting
the 2G licences to telecom service providers.

"The value of this spectrum has multiplied manifold. The
government got a total of only Rs 9,014 crore as licence fee
from these 122 licences, which was much lower than the market
price. This has caused an estimated loss of about Rs 70,000
crore to the exchequer," the petitioners said.

They further submitted that acting on complaints lodged
by the Central Vigilance Commission, the CBI had lodged FIRs
against "unknown officers of DoT and unknown private
companies".

The CBI had also raided the premises of DoT and recovered
"incriminating evidence" against some influential persons,
they added.

"This included a telephone recording by the Directorate
of Income Tax between the parties involved and Mr A Raja. The
CBI received the CD of this communication in November 2009.

Despite the passage of more than six months, it has not
summoned the suspects, nor filed any chargesheet," it said,
adding that a senior CBI official attached to this probe has
been transferred.

"It is understood that due to political compulsions and
to protect the suspects, the CBI is trying to close the matter
without a serious, deep investigation," they said.

The NGOs further contended that the action of the
government "in scuttling the investigation was arbitrary and
illegal. The record of the CBI in politically-sensitive cases
leaves much to be desired. The rule of law requires a through
investigation into this huge scam."

-PTI

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