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SC to hear Raja's case on Monday

delhi Updated: Nov 14, 2010 14:40 IST

PTI
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The Supreme Court will hear on Monday the petition against Telecom Minister A Raja for allegedly causing huge revenue loss due to distribution of 2G spectrum.

A bench comprising Justice G S Singhvi and Justice A K Ganguly would hear the two petitions filed by one NGO CPIL and Subramanian Swamy alleging Rs 70,000 crore corruption in the entire spectrum allocation.

The telecom ministry has claimed that new licences and 2G spectrum was distributed as per the existing policy which were followed by all his predecessors as well.

The hearing comes in the midst of a report by government auditor CAG, which is reported to have found a revenue loss of up to Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India in its report to the government is believed to have said non-auction of 2G spectrum in 2008 may have cost the exchequer up to Rs 1.40 lakh crore besides over Rs 36,000 crore on account of additional spectrum to existing players beyond 6.2 Mhz.

Officials say the additional 2G spectrum beyond 6.2 Mhz was given to the existing players by A Raja's predecessors free of cost.

However, last week in an affidavit, the Department of Telecom has rejected all the allegations and contended that that all the licences along with 2G spectrum were given "as per law and in keeping with the extant policy and procedures".

It also rejected allegations of favouring companies while allotting 2G spectrum and opposed any court-monitored enquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or by forming any special investigative team (SIT) in this issue.

The telecom ministry has also questioned the jurisdiction of CAG to audit the policy decision under which the 2G spectrum was alloted to 121 licensees in January 2008.

"DoT has throughout acted in public interest on the basis of the policy determined by the government of India. There is no case made out by petitioners (NGO) for monitoring the investigation by CBI or an SIT," said DoT in its affidavit.

During the last hearing on October 29, the apex court had slammed CBI for its "slipshod" investigations into the 2G spectrum allocation scam and said "the same minister (Raja) is still continuing today".

However, Raja's counsel had submitted before the apex court that a "wrong impression" has been given by filing draft reports of the CAG to "sensationalise" the entire issue.

The Apex Court had earlier issued notices to DoT, A Raja, CBI, ED and IT department over the petition filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation pointing figures towards role of Telecom Minister A Raja.

In this, CBI and ED have filed their affidavits stating that they were not in a position at this stage to confirm or deny charges that Raja was involved in the alleged Rs 70,000-crore scam.

However, ED has said the investigations were on against companies that allegedly violated foreign exchange norms in the 2008 award of telecom licences.