Telecom minister Kapil Sibal has transferred a controversial aide of former telecom minister A Raja out of the department of telecommunications (DoT) in his first move to clean up the ministry he took over on Monday.
On Friday, Sibal signed orders sending RK Chandolia, an economic advisor in the ministry, back to the Indian Economic Services cadre from where he was deputed to the DoT, top DoT sources told Hindustan Times .
Chandolia was private secretary to Sibal's predecessor Raja during the 2G spectrum sale in 2008, which, according to the comptroller and auditor general report cost the country Rs 1.76 lakh crore.
Following a promotion, he was moved out of the DoT but Raja brought him back as an economic advisor.
The CBI is investigating Chandolia's role in the 2G scam, including allegations that he acted as a go-between for Raja.
Chandolia has denied all allegations.
Senior government sources confirmed that the highest authorities, starting with the prime minister, have indicated that they want a complete change in the image of the DoT.
Investigative agencies are also probing taped conversations between Chandolia and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, who represents several of the telecom firms that benefited from the alleged irregularities committed under Raja.
"The minister (Sibal) is not concluding that Chandolia is guilty… he cannot. But he also cannot work with a team mired in controversy, a team he cannot trust," a senior DoT official argued.
Sources confirmed that other DoT officials patronised by Raja - and currently under the scanner of investigative agencies - could also face action.
AK Srivastava, a deputy director general in charge of licensing in the DoT, also viewed as a close Raja aide, is under the CBI's scanner.