National Spirit Vol.1, Issue No.34 Mumbai, November 19, 2010 Page 2
demand drafts and [they] even managedbank guarantees. Evidently, theseapplicants had advance information aboutthe issue of this notification by DoT whichenabled them to take appropriate advanceaction to draw the demand drafts andprepare other relevant documents forcomplying with the LOI [Letter of Intent]conditions in spite of the changed timelimit for compliance from 15 days to abouthalf a day.”Counsel argued that thedepartment's contention that it hadfollowed the existing first come, firstserved process “is a grossmisrepresentation. The modified versionis certainly aimed at benefiting the“favourites amongst the favoured.”Disputing the contention that 2G and3G could not be compared, the petitionersaid “while DoT gave away 6.2 MHz for 22circles, i.e.136.4 MHz of spectrum atRs.1,658.57 crore in 2008 at 2001 prices(at Rs.12 crore per MHz), the samegovernment decided to auction 3Gspectrum, therefore, yielding 5 MHz for 22circles, viz. 110 MHz for Rs.16,750.58 crore(an average yield of Rs.152 crore per MHz).So essentially, for 3G, the companies paid12 times higher for each MHz, i.e., Rs.152crore: Rs.12 crore, and yet, the first set ofvoice services launched by Tata Docomohas priced 3G voice lower than 2G voiceat 0.66 paisa per second.”The report of the Comptroller andAuditor General (CAG), which lent anedge to the clamour for A Raja's ousteras telecom minister, has also come downhard on the corporates who benefited fromthe controversial 2G spectrum allocation.The report, specifically focuses onhow facts about a top industrialist'ssubstantial stake in Swan Telecom - it farexceeded 10% - were concealed whileapplying for the 2G spectrum licence.According to the guidelines, no entitycan hold more than 10% stake in twotelecom service providers operating in thesame circle. Since a telecom companycontrolled by the industrialist - who alsohas interests in energy and entertainment- has a pan-Indian presence, Swan shouldhave been disqualified. Yet, it stayed inthe ring and went on to pip severalestablished contenders. The industrialist,one of India's richest, has denied any linkwith Swan.CAG's indictment of corporates foruse of "fraudulent means" to qualify runsinto several pages. The report lists not justcompanies but also the violations theauditor has found them guilty of. Thelicences issued to various companiesfloated by corporates such as Swan,Unitech, Loop and Datacom Allianz Infrainvolved several violations, the auditor haspointed out. As many as 85 of the 120licences were illegal, the CAG has said.The auditor has held Raja guilty offavouring a select group of companies inthe way he went about issuing a pressrelease on January 10, 2008 at 2.47 pm,giving companies just 45 minutes toassemble at DoT to collect responseletters to their applications. Raja'sfavourites, who knew of the press releasein advance, were able to be ready withperformance bank guarantees, financialbank guarantee and other requirementsin time. What's more, the auditor foundthat 13 applicants were ready withdemand drafts drawn on dates prior to thepress release being issued, proof that theywere aware of the minister's move.The report also demolishes Raja'sclaims that he went by the first-come-first-served (FCFS) concept followed in the pastby the department of telecom, accusinghim of tampering with even that system tofavour select private companies.The CAG audit is unique in manyways. For perhaps the first time in thehistory of CAG, the auditor has providedas an annexure file the notings of acabinet minister in order to indict him.Raja's personal notings that altered eventhe FCFS policy are part of the CAG reportannexure. Under the approved FCFSpractice, all applications were firstreceived in the central registry section ofDoT where the date of receipt and serialnumber are posted, and seniority wasdecided based on this. However, Rajaaltered this, by applying FCFS on thebasis of who first complied with the Letterof Intent conditions such as bankguarantee and entry fee.While the CAG has not endorsedany particular amount as the loss to thenational exchequer, it has applied at leastthree assessment methods. At themaximum, Raja has caused theexchequer a loss of over Rs 1.77 lakhcrore, it says. The auditor's findings onprivate companies are damning.
UPA’s Scandal Raj
New Delhi, November 14, 2010: Thenoose is tightening around Union telecomminister A. Raja in the Rs 1.7 lakh crore2G spectrum allocation scam. He is likelyto be questioned by the Central Bureauof Investigation (CBI) and theEnforcement Directorate (ED) soon for hisalleged involvement in what is being billedas the biggest scam in independentIndia's history.The minister's possible links with atleast one of the beneficiary companies arealso being probed, sources said.Both agencies have stumbled uponkey leads after questioning top officials ofseveral companies that benefitted fromthe spectrum allotment in 2008. Theseinclude Unitech Wireless and SwanTelecom.It is learnt that the investigators planto question the Department of Telecom(DoT) top officials about their alleged"benami" stakes in certain foreign-basedsubsidiaries.Sources confirmed that the firstround of investigation in the spectrumscandal is complete and reports havebeen received from all the beneficiarycompanies.The ED has completed questioningof top officials of companies includingSwan Telecom (now Etisalat DB), UnitechWireless (Now Uninor), S Tel, TataTeleservices, Loop Telecom, Data ComServices (now VideoconTelecommunications), etc. Now, strategicinvestments made in foreign companiessuch as Etisalat Mauritius, Telenor AsiaPvt Ltd and BMIC Ltd, are beinginvestigated, sources said.An official source said the focus ofthe investigation will be on UnitechWireless and Swan Telecom and theirsubsidiaries. Unitech and Swan had noprior telecom experience, and had soldtheir stake to foreign companies at muchhigher prices. The companies, however,denied any wrongdoing and stated that itwas a perfectly legitimate businessexercise. The DoT, too, insists that thecompanies only inducted strategicpartners as investors by issuing additionalequity shares to them. But ED sourcessaid the agency will also investigate therouting of funds in some companiesNew Delhi, November 16, 2010:After A Raja, investigating agencies havetrained their guns on corporate lobbyistNira Radia.Radia, who has been dodging theagencies for long, was issued freshnotices by theenforcementdirectorate(ED) onMonday forallegedinvolvement inthe 2Gspectrumscam.The British passport-holder wasearlier issued summons on two occasionsbut did not appear before ED, forcing it toissue a third notice on Monday. Failure toappear personally this time may result inED taking a stern step, sources said.Radia had strongly lobbied for Rajato be made telecom minister in the UPA-II government in June 2009.
CBI and ED tightennoose around Raja
through tax havens. Official sources saidthey will also consider attaching "assetsof beneficiary companies and of top DOTofficials" as they would be construed asproceeds of a crime under the Preventionof Money Laundering Act (PMLA). This willhappen only after the CBI, which hasregistered a case against unknownofficials, files a chargesheet in thespectrum scandal.The investigating agencies arelearnt to have fine-tuned their strategy ata meeting held on Saturday, during whichserious differences emerged between twotop government legal officers. The CBIand ED, citing conflict of interest, hadrefused to share their secret findings withDoT officials and legal representatives.The spectrum case is slated to come upbefore the Supreme Court on Monday andthe agencies are expected to give theirstatus report.Intriguingly, the meeting wasfacilitated by a top government legalluminary who insisted on investigatingagencies sharing their report with the DoT,raising the agencies' eyebrows.The principal Opposition party BJPsaid on Saturday that this meetingbetween Raja's lawyer, the solicitorgeneral and a CBI official to chalk out aunified strategy on the 2G spectrum casewas proof of the government's coverupplan and is tantamount to contempt of theSupreme Court.According to a PTI report, BJPspokesperson Prakash Javadekar said:"Such a meeting is unheard of, is totallyunethical and is clear proof of thegovernment's coverup plan." PTI, quotingreports, said a "law officer had called ameeting of Raja's counsel Anita Shenoy, DIG(CBI's Anti-Corruption Bureau) S. K. Palsaniaand the investigating CBI official concernedVivek Priyadarshi in the presence of solicitorgeneral of India Gopal Subramaniam." "ThePrime Minister has a clean image but hecannot remain a mute spectator to these sins,crimes and scams for so long," Javadekarwas quoted by the PTI as saying. "TheBJP also asks Sonia Gandhi and Rahulto explain their stand. They can choosenot to speak on inconvenient issues, butthey should not forget that nobody can foolall the people all the time."
Nira Radia gets freshED notices
Sources said the Union financeministry has asked ED director ArunMathur to expedite investigation againstthe PR consultant.Last week, Radia had furnisheddetails sought by ED. The details includedcash flow statements of her fourcompanies from 2005 and personal andcompany bank transactions. But sourcessaid ED was not convinced.Radia’s aide Rohit Dubey ofVaishnavi Corporate Communicationssaid, “We have submitted all documentsasked by ED. We are not aware of anyfresh notice.”Meanwhile, Central Bureau ofInvestigation has not been able to get alaboratory report of a recordedconversation between Radia and Raja.Radia and aides’ connections withhigh-profile people in the telecom sectorand Raja came to light after the income-tax department put their phones undersurveillance for 120 days in 2008 and 180days in 2009.Terror". There are much more heinousallegations that the Congress has beencraftily and meticulously unleashingagainst the RSS and its leaders… almostlike push-come-to-shove.No person in his/her right mind, norany party of the stature of the RSS wouldwant to silently swallow these increasingfoolishness heaped upon it. So, for the firsttime since 1948, RSS was forced to comeout in the open against the governmentacross the country - along with its variousoperative of its sister-organizationsincluding the political wing Bhartiya JanataParty (BJP), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad(VHP), the Bajarang Dal and many more -highlighting to the peoples the wrongsbeing committed by the Congress and theUPA, including the instances of therapacious corruption in the just concludedCommonwealth Games, the multi-crorescam by the defiant telecom minister ARaja, the so-called Adarsh Society inMumbai, the failure of the government toprotect Mumbai and the nation from therepeatedly unleashed terrorist activities,the unduly rising prices of essentialcommodities, the inflation dragon… andmuch more.This revealing of its dark side by theRSS was getting unbearable for Congressand its UPA allies. Just as it was preparingto retaliate, the RSS was itself pushed intoa soup-like situation by none other than byone of its former Sarsanghachalak K SSudarshan. In his speech Sudarshan calledSonia Gandhi to be a foreign agent, thatshe had some role in the deaths of her ownmother-in-law (Indira Gandhi) and also herhusband (Rajiv Gandhi) and that RajivGandhi wanted to leave her (Sonia Gandhi).While the BJP distanced itself fromSudarshan's remarks, the RSS the nextday issued a carefully worded statementsaying that the views of its former chiefwere not the views of the Sangh. Inaddition to this, the RSS ideologue M.G.Vaidya on Saturday urged Congress chiefSonia Gandhi to file a defamation suitagainst K.S. Sudarshan for usingdefamatory language against her. Andthere were reports in the section of the
RSS vs Cong: unequal, Dangerous battle ahead
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