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Rediff.com  » Business » All 2G accused move court for having TRAI report on its record

All 2G accused move court for having TRAI report on its record

September 06, 2011 14:41 IST

A Delhi court on Tuesday sought CBI's stand on a plea by all 17 accused in the 2G spectrum case, including former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, for making the TRAI report a part of the court's records.

All the accused, including the three telecom firms and their promoters, proprietors and top executives, moved the court of Special CBI Judge O P Saini seeking direction to the investigating agency to file the TRAI report, which has said there was no loss to the exchequer in allocation of 2G spectrum.

The report has also recommended against both auctioning of radio waves and revising entry fee for telecom firms. The Comptroller and Auditor General had assessed a "presumptive loss" of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the state exchequer, while the CBI, during its probe into the 2G scam, had pegged the loss at Rs 30,9884 crore (Rs 3098.84 billion).

Seeking its stand on the scam accused plea, Special Judge Saini issued notice to the CBI and fixed September 9 for arguments on their plea.

Appearing for Raja, senior counsel Ramesh Gupta sought the court's direction to the CBI to bring the latest TRAI report on court's record.

So did Swan telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa's counsel Vijay Aggarwal. In an application, he told the court, "The CBI has no scientific or technical expertise to determine the loss.

In fact, CBI has itself made an admission in the charge sheet that the TRAI report is awaited for calculating the quantum of loss."

Aggarwal said the basic question for the court is to determine whether there is any loss to the exchequer and if TRAI recommended that the spectrum be auctioned.

"Thus for deciding the same question, the TRAI report is essentially required as the same is a vital document and the same is relied even by the CBI in the charge sheet by stating it to be awaited," Aggarwal said, adding "it is an essential document and now in the possession of the CBI".

Aggarwal also sought directions to the CBI to call for the Union Law Ministry report to the Department of Telecom on applicability of clause 8 of Unified Access Service Licence (UASL) guidelines, which, as per the report, purportedly applies only to companies holding a telecom licence and not to the applicants.

The law ministry report has also purportedly clarified the definition of term 'associate'. Balwa's counsel had earlier argued before the court that his company Swan Telecom as an applicant for the 2G licence was not covered by the clause 8 of the UASL guidelines, which says no single company, either directly or through its associates, should have substantial equity holding in more than one licence company in the same service area for the same service.

He had said the said clause was applicable only to the existing licencee. Reliance Telecom, which also moved an application for having TRAI report on court's record, had contended that Reliance ADAG firm did not violate guidelines as its equities were below 10 per cent in the Shahid Balwa-promoted firm and that what is to be seen is whether Clause 8 of UASL guidelines was violated or not on the date of grant of licence and not on the date of application.

RTL executives Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair, Cineyug Films director Karim Morani, Raja's personal secretary R K Chandolia and former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura, DMK MP Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar also demanded that CBI submit the TRAI report.

Earlier, during the arguments on framing of charges, the accused had contended that the policy followed by Raja was in line with the TRAI recommendations that 2G should not be auctioned and that the entry fee should not be revised.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court bench of justices G S Singhvi and H L Dattu had said it would like to go through the TRAI report which said there was no loss to public exchequer in the allotment to 2G spectrum during the tenure of Raja as telecom minister.

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