CBI may file FIR for telecom irregularities during 2001-07 | delhi | Hindustan Times
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CBI may file FIR for telecom irregularities during 2001-07

delhi Updated: Oct 04, 2011 23:19 IST
Abhishek Sharan

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is likely to file separate FIRs as part of its probe into alleged irregularities in the allocation of spectrum and telecom licences during 2001 and 2007, a period which covered the stint of three telecom ministers — Arun Shourie, Pramod Mahajan and Dayanidhi Maran.

While Shourie and Mahajan were part of the NDA government, Maran had served as telecom minister in UPA-1.

"We are recording statements of DoT officials associated with awarding of spectrum and licences during the regime of three former ministers.... Once this part of the probe is over, we may file separate FIRs for alleged irregularities, if any, during the regime of the three ministers..., " said a CBI source.

The CBI, which had registered a preliminary enquiry over the alleged irregularities, is expected to wrap up its preliminary probe within two weeks.

The CBI suspects that irregularities had occurred allegedly during Mahajan and Maran’s tenure.

Referring to Mahajan, the source said, “The fact that one of the former telecom ministers is no more will not affect our probe. We have identified senior officials that were associated with the process ... during the late minister's stint and have recorded their versions."

As part of its probe, the investigative agency is also probing irregularities during Maran’s tenure, which pertain to alleged favours granted to private telecom firm Aircel in 2006 by the DoT.

The agency suspects the DoT allegedly favoured the firm as a result of its takeover by a Malaysian firm, whose owners enjoyed “influence and contacts”, said the source. The Malaysian firm's alleged investment in a business run by the Maran is also under the CBI scanner.

The CBI is also assessing the report by the panel headed by Justice (retired) Shivraj Patil Committee that examined deficiencies in the formulation and implementation of internal procedures by the DOT while issuing 2G licenses and allocation of spectrum during the period 2001-2009.