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'Politics won't affect probe'

Former Supreme Court judge Shivraj V Patil, who will probe the process of spectrum allocation during the past 10 years, on Saturday said his job was confined to "independently finding out" whether any irregularities were committed and he was not concerned with the political controversy on the subject. Nagendar Sharma reports.

delhi Updated: Dec 12, 2010 01:10 IST
Nagendar Sharma

Former Supreme Court judge Shivraj V Patil, who will probe the process of spectrum allocation during the past 10 years, on Saturday said his job was confined to "independently finding out" whether any irregularities were committed and he was not concerned with the political controversy on the subject.

Justice Patil, who is expected to take up the assignment on Monday after the finalisation of terms of reference for his committee, said he would not compromise on the merit of his findings "merely to meet the deadline rush".

Asked about criticism by Opposition parties that a government-appointed committee would not serve any purpose, Justice Patil said, "Appointment of an individual who has been a judge of the highest court of the country for five years itself is sufficient to answer questions on independence of findings."

He said the findings of panels headed by judges are based on evidence placed before them and "not on any other consideration. The report will be in front of the world once the work is complete, you can judge the work then."

He said he agreed to take up the assignment as the government wanted a "detached and credible view" on what was going on in the department of telecom (DoT) over a decade.

On whether he would be able to submit his report within four weeks as suggested by telecom minister Kapil Sibal, Justice Patil said: "My focus would be to get to the root of the problem. I would stress on the merit of my findings. I am yet to see the terms of reference, if need be I will ask for more time."

The former Supreme Court judge said he was not bothered about the political controversy.

"I am not interested in what the UPA or NDA are saying. I am only interested in the responsibility assigned to me. I leave it to the political class to debate about their issues, that is not my cup of tea."

"What I have understood so far is that I have to look into what was wrong in the allocation of spectrum since 2001. The criminal aspect of the conspiracy and wrongdoings is being looked into by the CBI and the matter is before the Supreme Court," the former apex court judge said.

Justice Patil said he would go into what the policies stated, whether there was any deviation and if so, "who was responsible in the DoT for the deviations and wrongdoings".