Monday, September 13, 2010

2G spectrum: Supreme Court issues notices to Centre, Raja

The Supreme Court today asked the Centre and Union Telecom Minister A. Raja for a response on a plea seeking the court to monitor a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into alleged irregularities in the 2008 sale of 2G spectrum licences.

A bench comprising Justices G. S. Singhvi and A. K. Ganguly sent notices to the Telecom Ministry and Mr. Raja and asked for replies within 10 days.

The bench also issued notices to the CBI, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax Department on the petition filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), an NGO, and others.

The petitioners challenged the May 25 decision of the Delhi High Court dismissing its plea to monitor the CBI probe into the alleged role of the Union Communications Minister in the sale of 2G spectrum licences in 2008.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for CPIL, alleged that despite having documents showing an alleged nexus between Mr. Raja and others, the CBI was not going ahead with the probe in the matter.

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

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

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