SC slams Sibal, says CAG comment 'unfortunate'
The Supreme Court on Friday slammed communications minister Kapil Sibal for his remark that the official auditor's report was "utterly erroneous" in assessing the loss on award of telecom spectrum at Rs 1.76 lakh crore ($40 billion).
"It is unfortunate," said the apex court bench of Justice GS Singhvi and Justice AK Ganguly.
The court said the minister must be more responsible and directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to proceed with the probe on the basis of the report sumbitted by the Comptoller and Auditor General (CAG).
"The court has also directed that the Central Bureau of Investigation must ensure that they are not influenced by any statement made by anybody including the minister," said Janata Party leader and petitioner Subramanian Swamy.
"When the court has placed so much faith in the CAG report and has asked CBI to act according to it and proceed on that basis, the attack of Mr. Kapil Sibal on the CAG was only uncalled for," Swamy told reporters, commenting on the remarks of the bench.
Short of rejecting the auditor's report, Sibal earlier this month said the method used was "utterly erroneous" in pegging the notional loss at Rs 1.76 lakh crore (around $40 billion) while awarding airwaves for 2G phone services in 2008.
Earlier, the Supreme Court issued notices to the union government and 11 firms on Swamy's plea, seeking cancellation of airwaves issued for 2G telecom services during the tenure of former communications minister A Raja.
The apex court issued the notices to the companies that allegedly did not fulfil the roll-out obligations as per the terms and conditions of being issued spectrum.
The companies that have been issued notices are: Etisalat, S-Tel, Uninor, Loop Telecom, Videocon, Allianz Infra, Idea Cellular, Tata Teleservices, Sistema Shyam Teleservices, Dishnet Wireless and Vodafone-Essar.
The bench had also sought the response from the Department of Telecom and the companies by Feb 1. It had also impleaded the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) as a respondent in the petition.
The Uttarakhand Transport Corporation has ordered a probe after finding irregularities in the food bills of bus drivers and conductors at a temporary bus station set up during the Mahakumbh, officials said on Tuesday. The managing director of the Uttarakhand Transport Corporation, Rohit Meena has taken cognizance of the matter directing subordinate officials to look into the matter. Later a payment was done for 1,164 people for an amount of ₹1.09 lakh.
NAGPUR The newly-inducted deputy chief minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis said that Fadnavis joined the Eknath Shinde-led government as the 'number two' to honour the wishes of his party (Bharatiya Janata Party). Fadnavis claimed that it was BJP national chief JP Nadda who first tried to convince him to join the ministry. When prime minister Narendra Modi himself called him, as a “party loyalist, I accepted the offer.”
Mumbai: The city traffic police's e-challan machine helped a 61-year-old woman find cash, and gold jewellery worth ₹5 lakh, which sChowdhari, who runs a food stallforgot in an auto-rickshaw, after completing her ride on Monday. The woman, identified as Lakshmi Chowdhari, a resident of Rahul Nagar in Chembur has a habit of carrying her life savings along. However, it was for the first time, she said, that she forgot her valuables. She then approached the RCF police.
Two employees of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation were arrested by the Mumbai unit of Anti-Corruption Bureau on Tuesday for allegedly demanding and accepting bribes of ₹1.90 lakh from the owner of an automobile spare parts shop. The arrested accused, assistant engineer Amol Thavil, 39, and deputy engineer Dattatray Mane, 36, are attached to BMC's D-Ward office in Nana Chowk. Upon conducting the search, ACB officials found ₹17.64 lakh in cash in TThaviloffice table drawer.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday threatened to move the courts if the central government - led by the Bharatiya Janata Party - did not allow civic body elections in the national capital soon. Kejriwal declared the BJP to be 'terrified of the Aam Aadmi Party' and claimed '(that is why they) don't want to hold the election'. He was speaking outside the Delhi assembly on the second day of the monsoon session.