Jaswant falls in 2G net; clean chit to Maran?
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation, which on Thursday filed its interim report in the 2G spectrum allocation case in the Supreme Court, is expected to question BJP leader Jaswant Singh for his role in the spectrum allotment made during the NDA regime.
As per reports, the CBI is expected to quiz the BJP leader on the terms on which Universal Service Agreement Licence (USAL) were granted during the BJP -led National Democratic Alliance government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
In its report the CBI also mentioned that licences granted during the tenure of former telecom minister Arun Shourie and late Pramod Mahajan also needs to be examined.
The investigating agency told the two-judge bench of justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly that Loop Telecom is a front company for Essar and both companies are guilty of cheating.
In another important development in the high-profile case, the probe agency said that prima facie there was no element of coercion found in licences issued between 2001 and 2007, thus giving a virtual clean chit to Dayanidhi Maran .
During the hearing on August 24, the CBI had informed the court that it has filed chargesheets has against 17 persons including former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozi. It had said that a third chargesheet would be filed by September 15.
Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, other accused in the case include Unitech Wireless Managing Director Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom's Director Vinod Goenka, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura, Raja's former personal secretary R K Chandolia, DMK-run Kalaignar TV's MD Sharad Kumar, Bollywood filmmaker Karim Morani and Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group's executives Hari Nair, Gautam Doshi and Surrendra Pipara.
The other accused persons included Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, his cousin Asif Balwa and their colleague Rajeev Agarwal. The accused also included three telecom firms Reliance Telecom Ltd, Swan Telecom and Unitech (Tamil Nadu) Wireless Ltd.
All the accused have pleaded that they have not done anything wrong and refuted the charge of drawing illegal benefits in the 2G spectrum allocation.
Meanwhile, the CBI status report has drawn sharp criticism from the main opposition BJP, which has attacked the central probe agency for its double standards in 2G investigations.
BJP said that the CBI is highly discriminatory in its probe in high-profile cases.
Addressing a press briefing, BJP spokesperson Jaswant Singh said that his party is always ready for a through probe in the 2G spectrum licences allocated given during the NDA regime.
Alleging a cover-up on part of the CBI, Prasad said, “It is highly unfortunate that the central probe agency could not collect concrete evidence against Maran, this shows that there is an attempt to save him.”
Prasad, while maintaining that BJP has nothing to hide, warned, “The BJP shall expose the double standards of the CBI in its ongoing probe into the spectrum case.” He stated that his party is proud of the expansion of the telecommunication sector and mobile telephony during the NDA regime.
He also asked why is the CBI shying from probing the role of then finance minister P Chidambaram and the Prime Minister’s office in connection with the case.
However, the BJP leader concluded by saying that his party is ready to cooperate with the CBI in its probe into the spectrum licenses granted during the NDA rule.”