Retired wireless advisor to the government, RP Aggarwal, has alleged that A Raja’s private secretary RK Chandolia arm-twisted him to allocate 2G spectrum on August 26, 2008 to Swan Telecom in Delhi, even as the issue of seniority between Shahid Balwa-owned company and Tata Teleservices was under dispute.
In his statement before a magistrate, Aggarwal said Chandolia had referred to an affidavit settled by the then Solicitor General of India GE Vahanvati (currently Attorney General of India) before TDSAT (Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal) showing Swan Telecom as number one in the priority list.
Spectrum was a scarce resource in the Delhi circle and the DoT said it was to be allocated to the firm topping the priority list on the basis of the date applications were filed.
Vahanvati said: “Please read the affidavit carefully. It has nothing to do with Swan...”
Aggarwal’s statement corroborates the CBI allegation against Raja, Chandolia and former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura that they, Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless entered into a criminal conspiracy to deprive Tata of its priority over new licences.
Aggarwal said Chandolia had claimed Vahanvati’s statement before TDSAT was the factual position and there was no ambiguity on Swan’s position in the priority list. Aggarwal said Chandolia told him the file would be approved by minister (Raja).
“I had no option but to put up the file myself, favouring spectrum allocation to Swan in Delhi circle under intense pressure. I put up the file on August 26, 2008 and the file went to minister through secretary telecom,” Aggarwal said.
Aggarwal corroborated his subordinate RJS Khushwaha’s statement that the latter and another officer were transferred after they objected to allocating spectrum to Swan. “I was told by Chandolia a lot of time has been lost due to obstinacy of Kushwaha and Jha...” he said.