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Abhishek Sharan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 10, 2012
A CBI probe into alleged irregularities in the grant of additional spectrum (beyond 6.2 MHz and up to 10 MHz) in January 2002 to three private mobile operators revealed that the decision had also benefited two public-sector operators. The two PSU operators, along with the three accused private telecom firms, were beneficiaries of a decision taken on January 31, 2002, by then telecom minister Pramod Mahajan to award additional spectrum by charging additional 1% of adjusted gross revenue only, according to a CBI source. The probe, however, has found that the two PSU operators were merely "incidental beneficiaries" of Mahajan's order and the agency is set to prosecute the three accused private firms along with then telecom secretary.

The CBI probe showed that Mahajan, on recommendation of then telecom secretary, allegedly allotted the additional spectrum to the three private firms in one day. The minister's decision was allegedly also without the requisite concurrence of the telecom panel or its member (finance) and the DoT’s technical officials.