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Mahajan can?t wait to clarify

THE SUPREME Court on Monday issued notices to the Centre, the CBI and the Central Vigilance Commission on a petition seeking a probe into allegations that Pramod Mahajan had, as communications minister, permitted Reliance Infocomm Limited, a WLL provider, to offer full mobility services without paying the requisite licence fee.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2006 14:05 IST

THE SUPREME Court on Monday issued notices to the Centre, the CBI and the Central Vigilance Commission on a petition seeking a probe into allegations that Pramod Mahajan had, as communications minister, permitted Reliance Infocomm Limited, a WLL provider, to offer full mobility services without paying the requisite licence fee.

The PIL, filed by the Citizens Forum Against Corruption, an NGO, alleged that Mahajan had “misused his official position” to grant “undue favours” to Reliance Infocomm, causing a loss of Rs 1,100 crore to the exchequer.

Following this, one crore shares of Reliance Infocomm were allegedly transferred at throwaway prices to three companies linked to Mahajan’s son-in-law, counsel for the NGO, Prashant Bhushan, said before a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Y.K. Sabharwal.

The counsel said if the allegations were true there was a case of corruption under Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act against Mahajan for granting “undue favours” against the “public interest” while acting in the capacity of a “public servant”.

Later, Mahajan issued a statement, saying, “I’ve come to know from the media that a PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court against some decision of mine as a minister for communication and information technology.

Neither have I received any notice from the Supreme Court, nor has the copy of the PIL been marked to me. So it’s difficult for me to comment on the details.”

It added: “But at this juncture I wish to state unequivocally and emphatically that I’ve not taken any decision, which has favoured any particular company during my tenure as a minister for communication and information technology. All the files are open with the department.”

First Published: Jan 03, 2006 14:05 IST