The Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) probe into 2G spectrum scam has found that former telecom minister A Raja and former telecom secretary Sidharth Behura allegedly granted telecom licences to Swan Telecom by overruling some officials of the department of telecommunications (DoT), who had objected in writing to the company's eligibility for the allocations.
"M/s Swan Telecom Private Limited was incorporated by M/s s reliance group of companies and as such it was ineligible for grant of spectrum and telecom licences," a CBI source told HT.
He added, "A few DoT officials, who have given their statements to the CBI, have said they had brought to Behura's notice that Swan Telecom was not eligible, in writing, but he overruled the objections and wrote that the company fulfilled the requisite conditions and the Letter of Intent (LoI) be issued to it January 10, 2008," said the official.
The source added, "The matter was then brought to the notice of Raja who overruled the objections given in writing by the DoT officials and approved the grant of licences to Swan Telecom."
The source added that Raja and Behura's role in this matter would be mentioned in the agency's chargesheet to be submitted by April 2.
According to the source, the DoT officials' objections were based on the fact that "Swan Telecom was not eligible for licence on the date of its application to DoT as Tiger Traders Private Limited, which was holding its majority shares, was indirectly funded by Reliance Telecom Limited of Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group."
The source added, "Reliance Telecom Limited had already been granted licence in some circles and as such Swan Telecom Private Limited, its associate company, was not eligible for allocation of telecom licences."
"Raja and Sidharth Behura had influenced the DoT decision in favour of Swan Telecom by manipulating the record," said the official.
When HT spoke about the objections raised by telecom department officials to lawyer Vijay Aggarwal, who represents Swan Telecom's promoter Shahid Balwa, one of the main accused in the case, he said, "I never heard about this so far."