SC moved for probe against Videocon in 2G scam

An application was today moved in the Supreme Court seeking to bring Videocon group within the ambit of CBI probe in the 2G scam alleging that one of its companies was a major beneficiary of spectrum allocation.

Updated: Sep 06, 2011, 20:20 PM IST

New Delhi: An application was today moved in
the Supreme Court seeking to bring Videocon group within the
ambit of CBI probe in the 2G scam alleging that one of its
companies was a major beneficiary of spectrum allocation
during former telecom minister A Raja`s tenure.

The NGO, Centre For Public Interest Litigation (CPIL),
submitted that Datacom, jointly owned by Videocon and HFCL,
was at number nine in the list of applicants for spectrum but
it became number one when first-cum-first-served policy was
"changed" by the Department of Telecom (DoT).
"Datacom, jointly owned by Venugopal Dhoot of Videocon
and Mahendra Nahata of HFCL, is one of the major beneficiaries
of the 2G spectrum scam. According to its date of application,
it was number nine in the list of applicants.

"However, on January 10, 2008, the basis of determining
FCFS was changed, which according to CBI`s charge sheet was
done in a criminal conspiracy to help certain companies,"
alleged the CPIL, on whose PIL criminal investigation was
directed into the 2G scam.

"Datacom became number one in 20 circles after the order
of priority was altered. CBI has so far apparently ignored
this and other vital aspects, and its decision to leave out
Datacom from the charge sheets has weakened the prosecution
case," the NGO said in its application.

Referring to report Justice Shivraj Patil committee,
which was appointed to look into the irregularities in the
spectrum allocation, the CPIL submitted that the document
revealed that Datacom had moved to the number one position in
20 circles by jumping over Swan Telecom (in 11 circles), Idea,
S Tel and Spice.

The NGO also claimed that either Venugopal or his brother
Rajkumar Dhoot, who is an MP, was personally present in the
DoT when licences were being issued.
"Under Secretary in the DoT had given a first person
account of the happenings inside DoT on January 10, 2008 to
the Justice Patil committee. He had stated that a person
flashing a Rajya Sabha MP identity card had entered the
premises of the DoT.

"Venugopal Dhoot`s brother Rajkumar Dhoot, who is also
associated with Videocon, is a Rajya Sabha MP. So either he or
Venugopal himself could have been present in the DoT using the
said identity card.

"During the hearing in the trial court, accused Shahid
Balwa through his advocate has stated that Venugopal was
present in the DoT on that day when licences were being issued
and he had misused the Rajya Sabha MP identity card of his
brother," it alleged.

Seeking its direction to CBI to look into the issue, the
NGO submitted that despite all the evidences, the CBI has not
chargesheeted them.

"As per some news reports CBI had questioned both the
Dhoot brothers long ago in connection with licences and
spectrum allocated to Videocon/Datacom, but still neither they
nor Datacom/Videcon have been chargesheeted, which has
severely weakened the prosecution case," it further claimed.

The NGO also pointed out the alleged irregularities in
spectrum allocation during the tenure of former Telecom
Minister Dayanidhi Maran between May 23, 2004 and May 15, 2007
and expressed concern over CBI not registering case against
him.

"It is unfortunate that CBI has not even registered an
FIR in this case and apparently is seeking to close the case,"
the NGO claimed, adding that the grant of licences to Aircel
by Maran when he was Telecom Minister was on a quid pro quo
basis.

Maran has, however, refuted all such allegations.

PTI