NEW DELHI: A CBI special court on Friday charged five top executives of Loop Telecom and the Essar Group, including its vice-chairman Ravi Ruia and his nephew Anshuman Ruia, with criminal conspiracy to cheat the telecom department, as part of the 2G spectrum scam, but granted bail to all of them.
In addition to the Ruias, Essar’s director for strategy & planning, Vikash Saraf, and Loop promoters IP Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan were charged under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code. If convicted, the five officials could face up to seven years in prison.
Kiran Khaitan is the sister of Essar Group founders Shashi and Ravi Ruia, and is based in Dubai along with her husband IP Khaitan.
The court also charged three companies – Loop Telecom, Loop Mobile India and Essar Tele Holding – under the same sections. It also slapped an… Continue reading
New Delhi: Following is the chronology of the events in the 2G spectrum allocation scam in which the prime accused and former Telecom Minister A Raja was on Tuesday granted bail:
May 2007: A Raja takes over as telecom minister.
August 2007: Process of allotment of 2G spectrum for telecom along with Universal Access Service (UAS) Licences initiated by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
September 25, 2007: Telecom ministry issues press note fixing October 1, 2007 as deadline for receiving application for UASL licences.
October 1, 2007: DoT receives 575 applications for UAS licences of 46 companies.
November 2, 2007: The Prime Minister writes to Raja directing him to ensure fair allotment of the 2G spectrum.
November 22, 2007: Finance Ministry writes to DoT raising concerns over the procedure adopted by it. Demand for review rejected.
January 10, 2008: DoT decides to issue licences on first-come-first-served basis, preponing the… Continue reading
NEW DELHI: A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court on Friday will hear the presidential reference seeking the apex court’s opinion on a host of queries arising from the 2G judgment, including whether judiciary had encroached into the executive’s policy domain by mandating auction for allocation of natural resources including spectrum.
The Presidential Reference No. 1 of 2012 is listed for hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices D K Jain, J S Khehar, Dipak Misra and Ranjan Gogoi. In a 12-page reference under Article 143(1) of the Constitution, the President on April 12 had sought the court’s opinion on eight questions, including the effect of the judgment — which ordered auction of the 122 cancelled 2G licences — on spectrum allotted since 1994 on a first-come first-served basis (FCFS).
The main focus of the reference was “whether the only permissible method for disposal… Continue reading
A day before his 49th birthday, former telecom minister A. Raja has moved a bail application in a special CBI court after the Supreme Court granted bail to ex-telecom secretary Siddharth Behura in the 2G spectrum case.
Raja has sought bail on grounds of parity.
“Except me, all the other accused have been released on bail,” Raja’s lawyer said before special judge O.P. Saini.
Raja is one of the 19 individuals accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam that has rocked the nation. However, he will have to spend his 49th birthday on Thursday in jail as the court has listed the case for hearing on Friday.
Apart from the 19 individuals, six telecom companies have also been named in the scam.
Earlier, in an interview to IANS, Raja had said he was not very keen on getting… Continue reading
New Delhi, May 10: The Supreme Court Thursday allowed the government to withdraw its petition seeking a review of the apex court verdict cancelling 122 licences that were allocated in and after January 2008 by the then telecom minister A. Raja.
The apex court bench headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi granted withdrawal of the review petition but not before objecting to a May 8 letter which asked Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia to place the plea before an appropriate bench.
The court wondered what was the need for the government to write the letter when the matter was to come up for hearing May 10. It also noted that in the past, similar withdrawal of petition was done by way of oral mentioning before the court.
The government had sought the review of the Feb 2 apex court order which, while cancelling the 122 telecom licences, said henceforth all… Continue reading
New Delhi, May 9 — A day before his 49th birthday, former telecom minister A. Raja Wednesday moved a bail application in a special CBI court after the Supreme Court granted bail to ex-telecom secretary Siddharth Behura in the 2G spectrum case. He has sought bail on grounds of parity.
“Except me, all the other accused have been released on bail,” Raja’s lawyer said before special judge O.P. Saini. Raja is one of the 19 individuals accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam that has rocked the nation.
However, Raja will have to spend his 49th birthday Thursday in jail as the court has reserved its order till Friday.
Earlier, in an interview to IANS, Raja had said he was not very keen on getting out on bail as he would prefer to walk out of prison with “clean hands” in the 2G controversy.
Raja had resigned Nov 14, 2010… Continue reading
The ongoing political, financial and legal tussle over the 2G spectrum auctions, in the aftermath of the cancellation of 122 licences, has raised serious ethical questions. While the decision of the Supreme Court enjoys wide public support, telecom companies, involved in some of the most egregious ethical violations seen in India, have been vehemently protesting efforts to right the wrongs. The aggrieved parties in the scam, the telecom companies and other accused, insist that spectrum was allocated on first-come-first-served basis, the rule governing such decisions, at the time. It has now become clear that tweaking of rules, advancement of dates for applying for spectrum, among other lapses in implementation, came about because of the politico-business nexus. Spectrum was awarded not on merit but on closeness to A Raja, the then telecom minister. Despite the lack of ethics in their actions, telcos believed, until the day of the judgment, that they… Continue reading
10 April 2012 – 9:30pm
New Delhi : As part of the government’s strategy to sort out the 2G spectrum tangle, the cabinet Tuesday approved a proposal to issue a presidential reference seeking more clarity on the Supreme Court’s order revoking 122 licences.
The presidential reference note includes key questions such as what was to be done to the licences that have been granted using the first come, first served basis.
It also asks what would happen to companies like Norway’s Telenor, which did not participat in the bidding but had invested in a joint venture to launch 2G services.
Through Article 143 of the Indian constitution, the president can refer matters of public interest to the Supreme Court.
Sources said the presidential reference had been drafted taking inputs from various ministries and the attorney general.
In this particular case, President Pratibha Patil would ask the Supreme Court… Continue reading
Apr 10, 2012
NEW DELHI, India
The government on Tuesday decided to make a presidential reference to the Supreme Court asking it whether its judgment in the 2G telecom licenses case makes auctioning of natural resources across all sectors mandatory in all circumstances.
The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, cleared the Telecom Ministry’s proposal to seek Supreme Court’s opinion on various issues arising out of its February 2 judgment cancelling 122 2G licenses issued on first-come-first-served basis.
The court also observed that auction was the best suited route for allocation of natural resources like telecom spectrum because the policy of first-come-first-serve was flawed.
“Today, the Cabinet cleared all questions for which we are seeking presidential reference under advisory jurisdiction,” Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters after the meeting.
The Department of Telecom feels that the judgment has ramifications on several other sectors that also use the Supreme Court-condemned… Continue reading