As part of an alleged conspiracy between former telecom minister A Raja and promoters associated with Unitech Limited and Swan Telecom Private Limited, Raja’s former aide RK Chandolia was monitoring the status of the receipt of applications and names of applicant companies to be decided upon on the cut-off date.
On September 24, 2007, Chandolia had allegedly enquired from an Access Services Cell (ASC) official of the DoT, “if Unitech’s applications for new UAS licences had been received,” a CBI source told HT.
He added, “Chandolia directed the official that no application should be accepted after the receipt of the applications from Unitech, which were expected to be received by DoT the same day.”
When the officer replied that the receipt of applications could not be arbitrarily stopped, Chandolia allegedly instructed “another ASC senior official to put up a note,” said the source.
The ASC note, though, insisted upon the issuance of a press release about the proposed discontinuation and proposed October 10, 2007, as the cut-off date.
“But Raja arbitrarily decided upon October 1, 2007, as the cut-off date,” said the source. And, yet, Raja, in conspiracy with Unitech’s then managing director Sanjay Chandra and Swan Telecom’s Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka, had already decided to keep the cut-off date as September 25, 2007, according to the source.
This, despite the fact that Swan Telecom and Unitech were allegedly ineligible applicants, said the source. Later, though a few DoT officials had given their objections in writing, about the ineligibility of Swan Telecom since it was an associate company of a licencee (Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group), “Behura and Raja struck down their objections and approved the allocation of licences to Swan,” said the source.