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HindustanTimes Tue,29 Jul 2014

Rights body seeks SC nod to probe Mahajan

Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 11, 2011
First Published: 23:51 IST(11/3/2011) | Last Updated: 00:46 IST(12/3/2011)

The Centre for Public Interest (CPIL) has filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court furnishing fresh information on the arbitrary allocation of spectrum to telecom operators since 2001.

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The additional affidavit filed before the court on Friday has sought a direction to the CBI to probe the allegations levelled against some political leaders who were obliged by various operators in exchange for allowing them to expand their network at low cost.

CPIL has claimed that former telecom minister, late Pramod Mahajan, had in 2001 facilitated the conversion of limited mobile license (WLL) to Reliance Infocomm Ltd to full mobility without charging any license fee.

The affidavit has further alleged that Reliance had allotted R1 crore share to three companies at Re 1 each as against Rs. 55 to nominees of one Ashish Deora. According to CPIL, Deora had several close financial and personal connections with Mahajan. The transfer of shares was, therefore, intended as a bribe for getting permission to start fully mobile services, the affidavit alleged.

Pointing out yet another violation, the affidavit claimed that the Tata group and Bharti cellular had received seven licenses each at the 2001 rates in 2003.

This, it added, was against Trai recommendations that were reversed telephonically by then chairman Pradip Baijal. The change in its stand was without any consultation process as envisaged in the law. Baijal, after his retirement, joined the Niira Radia group that manages press relations for Tatas.

It was on CPIL’s public interest litigation that the SC had ordered a court-monitored CBI probe into the allocation of 2G spectrum by former telecom minister A Raja.


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