Telecom minister A Raja faces further trouble with the Delhi High Court on Wednesday wanting to know the Centre’s stand on alleged irregularities in the appointment of CMDs of BSNL and MTNL.
Raja faces charges of pushing his favourites into the posts by following an “arbitrary and mala fide appointment procedure."
The high court directive comes 10 days after the Supreme Court questioned his continuation as minister while facing serious allegations and slammed the CBI for its “slipshod” investigations into the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
Court notices have also gone to Kuldeep Singh and RK Upadhyay, who were recommended for the post of CMD in MTNL and BSNL, respectively. NGO Telecom Watchdog and Executive Association of Sanchar Nigam moved the court seeking quashing of the appointment procedure.
They contended that the department of telecom (DoT) had “arbitrarily” changed the selection criteria formulated by a Sam Pitroda-led committee set up by the Prime Minister for appointments to top posts in the public sector.
Telecom Watchdog also alleged that Raja was trying to put TCIL Chairman and Managing Director RK Upadhyay at the helm of BSNL as CMD by changing the selection process and bypassing the selection criteria formulated by the Pitroda committee.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioners, contended that “the arbitrary change in the appointment process was brought to the notice of the government on October 1, 2010, clearly pointing out the involvement of telecom minister A Raja and his trusted man AK Chandolia behind this move and their ulterior motive to select one RK Upadhyay (CMD, TCIL) for the post of CMD-BSNL”.