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2G scam has put all other scams to shame: SC

Last updated on: November 24, 2010 19:43 IST

2G scam has put all other scams to shame: SC

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The 2G scam has put 'all other scams to shame' the Supreme Court on Wednesday said, brushing aside Centre's argument that it should not monitor the case and Subramaniam Swamy's letter to the prime minister cannot be treated as a complaint.

A Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly made some sharp comments while reserving its judgement on Swamy's plea for a direction to the prime minister to grant sanction for prosecution of former telecom minister A Raja in the scam.

"The prime minister did not take it lightly, obviously he was concerned," the Bench observed when Vahanvati repeatedly asserted that Swamy's plea was only in the form of a letter and cannot be considered as a complaint.

"Your written submission never said that the petitioner did not file a proper complaint. We don't need to tell the learned Attorney General the subtle distinction," the Bench quipped.

The Bench pointed out that no such argument was taken in the affidavit filed on behalf of the prime minister.

However, the AG stuck to his argument and said that, "I filed the affidavit on the same facts."

But the arguments failed to convince the court. "According to you it was not a complaint but a letter. Whatever, it is, it was open to the sanctioning authority to say the letter is not in proper form."

"In this case if Dr Swamy's letter was not in the form of complaint you should have said it. Why shall he a file a complaint at all when the court cannot take notice of the complaint," the Bench asked.

Admitting that it was not there in the written submission, the AG said, "I apologise."

"Affidavit filed on behalf of the sanctioning authority (prime minister) also did not say that that it was not a complaint but a letter. Otherwise, you should have filed a one-paragraph affidavit saying that the letter does not merit action as it was not in a proper complaint form," the Bench observed.

The Bench also brushed aside the CBI's plea that the apex Court should refrain from further monitoring the case as the investigation had been taken up by CBI and other agencies.

"If you go into the monetary aspect, this scam will put all other scams in the country into shame," the Bench observed. -- PTI

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Image: Prime Minister Manmohan SIngh.
Photographs: Reuters
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ED grills lobbyist Niira Radia in 2G case

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Corporate lobbyist Nira Radia was on Wednesday questioned by the Enforcement Directorate for her firm's alleged role in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

Radia, whose taped conversations with various people is reportedly available with the Directorate, is being questioned about allocation of the 2G Spectrum to certain telecom players, ED sources said.

Radia had earlier cited health reasons for not appearing before the ED.

The CBI had said in an affidavit to the Supreme Court that the role of Radia would be examined in the 2G spectrum allocation case in which irregularities were of 'enormous magnitude' having international ramifications.

The CBI, which had filed a fresh affidavit in the Supreme Court on November 22, said the telephonic conversation between Radia and others were being examined and she would be called by it at an appropriate time.

"It should be pointed out that the recordings which are the main basis of investigation regarding her role are still being examined.

"It is only when the materials based on these calls are cross-checked, verified and relevant evidence on matters disclosed by these calls are obtained through investigation, entirety of the material would be put to Radia at an appropriate time," the agency had said in its seven-page affidavit. -- PTI

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Image: Niira Radia

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SC reserves verdict on plea to prosecute Raja

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict on a plea seeking a direction to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for grant of sanction to prosecute former Telecom Minister A Raja in the 2G spectrum case.

A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly reserved the verdict after concluding the hearing on the petition filed by Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy.

The bench asked the Attorney General G E Vahanvati to place before it the number of matters relating to sanction pending before the competent authority in various government departments in one week.

The AG said he will check from various departments and inform the court. -- PTI

2G scam uproar: Parliament adjourned again

Meanwhile, as expected, the Parliament adjourned for the entire day on Wednesday following uproar over demand for a JPC probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

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Photographs: Reuters
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2G spectrum scam: The story thus far. . .

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ED issues summons to some telcos

The Enforcement Directorate issued summons to certain telecom firms on Tuesday as part of its investigation into alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum.

Summons have been issued to some new telecom firms asking for financial records and documents, according to official sources. However, the names of the companies could not be ascertained.

Nine firms, including Unitech Group (Uninor), Loop Telecom, Etisalat DB, Stel and Datacom (Videocon), had received new licences in 2008. -- Business Standard

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Photographs: Reuters
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2G spectrum scam: The story thus far. . .

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Telco profits may dip

Cellular Operators Association of India on Wednesday indicated that profits of mobile telecom industry may shrink further on account of strict subscriber verification norms and levy of charges on erection of cell towers by the state governments.

Lack of infrastructure facilities in rural areas coupled with stringent norms of customer verification before providing services is a deterrent for mobile penetration in most parts of the country, COIA Director-General Rajan S Mathews said.

Operators spend crores of rupees on customer verification process. Right now, activating one customer includes a minimum expense of Rs 600-700. Also, the state governments have started levying taxes on cell tower.

In Delhi, till recently they (state government) were charging 50,000 per tower. It has now further been enhanced to Rs 500,000.

These are going to kill our profitability, Mathews told PTI. Some telecom operators are already incurring losses and the situation may further deteriorate with the new development, he said. -- PTI


Photographs: Reuters
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