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2G: Supreme Court takes on telcos during NDA regime

Posted on Nov 29, 07:28PM | IBNS

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to follow its outgoing director AP Singh's view on the prosecution of telecom companies and individuals in connection to alleged irregularities in the allocation of excess 2G spectrum during the regime of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

Pertinently, late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan was the Telecom Minister during that period (2001-2003).

The Supreme Court's order cleared the way for the CBI to file a chargesheet in connection to the case.

In November last year, a First Information Report (FIR) was filed against then Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh and Deputy Director General (Value Added Services) J R Gupta, unnamed officials of Bharti Cellular (now Bharti Airtel) and Hutchinson Max and Sterling Cellular (now Vodafone Essar).

A difference of opinion between the CBI Director and agency's Director (Prosecution) resulted in the delay in the filing of the chargesheet, reports said.

The matter was later referred to Attorney General G E Vahanvati who gave his opinion on the issue to the CBI.

Vahanvati's opinion was placed before a bench comprising of justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan in a sealed cover.

After studying it, the bench said: "We are of the opinion that CBI will take action in accordance with the view expressed by CBI Director against some persons and companies."