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Supreme Court notice to Centre, 11 telecom firms

Petition seeks direction to cancel 2G spectrum licences

New Delhi: The Supreme Court, which is already monitoring the investigation in the 2G spectrum scam, on Monday issued notice to
the Centre on a petition seeking a direction to cancel the licences allegedly issued illegally during the tenure of the
former Communications Minister, A. Raja.

The petition was filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation; the former Chief Election Commissioners, J.M. Lyngdoh, T.S.
Krishnamurthy and N. Gopalaswami; and the former Central Vigilance Commissioner, P. Shankar and others.

A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly also issued notice to the 11 companies —Etisalat, Uninor, Loop Telecom,
Videocon, S-Tel, Allianz Infra, Idea Cellular, Tata Tele Services, Sistema Shyam Teleservices, Dishnet Wireless, and
Vodafone-Essar — which were granted licences after January 2008.

The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on February 1.

It asked Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy who also sought a similar relief, to implead the licensees so that it could pass
appropriate orders. Dr. Swamy drew the court's attention to the statement made by Communications Minister Kapil Sibal that no
loss was caused in the 2G spectrum allocation and said he would be filing a contempt application.

When Justice Singhvi wanted to know from counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for CPIL, “who is the competent authority to
cancel the licences if it is illegal,” Mr. Bhushan said, “it can be done by the government itself.” When the judge wanted to
know whether the court had the power to cancel the licences of companies which had not fulfilled the rollout
obligations, counsel answered in the affirmative. The court then asked counsel to implead the Telecom Regulatory Authority
of India (TRAI) as a party, pointing out that it remained silent when the telecom companies failed to fulfil the rollout obligations
within the stipulated period.

Court refuses to take cognisance of Sibal stand

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday made it clear that it would not take cognisance of media reports about the
statement of Union Communications Minister Kapil Sibal disputing the report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General
and saying that no loss was caused to the exchequer in the 2G spectrum allocation.

When counsel Prashant Bhushan took exception to the statement made by Mr. Sibal, Justice Singhvi observed, “The issue has now
become debatable.” When Mr. Bhushan submitted there was a huge loss to the government as the licences were sold to other
entities at three times the original price, Justice Singhvi said: “We would not go by media reports [on Mr. Sibal's statement]. We go
by affidavits. It is not the government's statement. The CAG report is part of our records. We have noted everything in our order.
We will ask the government how much loss the national exchequer has suffered.”

Congress, JD(S) stall House

BANGALORE: The Karnataka Assembly could not transact any business on Monday as the Opposition staged a dharna,
demanding that the CBI probe the alleged involvement of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in land scams, besides
charges of corruption and nepotism against the government. They also sought his resignation.

As the House met for the day, Opposition leader Siddaramaiah demanded that Speaker K.G. Bopaiah allow an
adjournment motion for a debate on the corruption charges.

The Opposition did not allow question hour and insisted on an adjournment motion straight away.

The House, which was adjourned before lunch-break, was later adjourned for the day, with the Opposition continuing the dharna.

The Congress and JD(S) members claimed that the State exchequer had lost thousands of crores of rupees since Mr. Yeddyurappa
assumed office.

The Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues were involved in land scams. He also showed favouritism to his relatives
and family members in land allotment and denotifications, the Opposition alleged.

Raja. Raja asking him to consider introduction of a transparent methodology of auction and revision of the entry fee. Mr. when companies like S Tel Ltd were ready to offer more price for spectrum. Notably. Mr.76-lakh crore. what stopped it from doing the same in 2008 when the mobile connections stood at over 26 crore and teledensity at 26 per cent against 3 per cent in 2001? In its report. in which 42 Pakistanis were among those killed. The government could have earned revenue ranging from Rs. 65. Sibal.” but he has completely ignored other scenarios presented by the auditor where new operators made crores by selling their stakes to global telecom giants or were themselves ready to pay more for the scarce spectrum.1. 1961. a comparison of foreign equity attracted by the new entrants in the Indian telecom market would reveal that the cost of pan-India licence could be between Rs. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote to Mr. However. Raja's letter. Ironically. who has made flip-flops in his statements by first criticising the telecom policy and then blatantly defending it. Singh that “the issue of auction of spectrum was considered by the Telecom Commission and was not recommended. A. even before establishing a foothold in the Indian telecom market would suggest that acquiring licence with its allotment of spectrum for rollout was the main factor which attracted a huge FDI. That new operators could draw huge foreign investments. the government exchequer would have got Rs. Law and Justice. As per calculations based on S Tel's offer.” However. while the DoT issued pan-India licences at Rs.” the CAG said in its report.76-lakh crore loss figure based on 3G pricing totally erroneous. And when the Centre followed the market mechanism to determine the value of licences since early 1990. The report was sought in the wake of news reports in the Indian media about jailed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader.” the CAG said.758 crore and Rs. 58.1.13.386 crore collected by DoT.909 crore as against Rs.658 crore. Interestingly. 1. the CAG has clearly stated that the four sets of loss figures it had projected were totally “presumptive. Raja.Sibal ignored other scenarios in CAG report Also failed to notice how his predecessor misled the Prime Minister NEW DELHI: Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal might have termed the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India (CAG)'s calculation of loss to the exchequer from underpricing of 2G spectrum “utterly erroneous.000 crore and Rs. it could have been possible for the government to have received at least this amount. 68. Swami Aseemanand.658 crore for pan-Indian based on the 2001 auction).000 crore to Rs. misled the Prime Minister while single-handedly deciding on the allocation of licence. S Tel had volunteered to pay an additional revenue share of Rs. Similarly.” The auditor has also pointed out that it had “looked at various indicators to assess a possible [presumptive] value from the various records available rather than going by any mathematical/econometric models. Raja gave incorrect information to Dr.” While the CAG pegged the loss at between Rs. the Department of Telecom completely ignored it.100 crore. the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on revision of spectrum prices were totally undermined. admitting to his role in the 2007 blasts. Similarly. In its letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “The value which should have been accrued to the public exchequer went as a favour to the new licensees in the form of huge capital infusion for enriching their business. which was benchmarked on an old figure (Rs. 57. 7. and arbitrarily went ahead with allocating licences when the matter should have been referred to the Empowered Group of Ministers as per the Government of India (Transaction of Business) Rules. Mr. “This indicated that had an open process of bidding/auction been used for price discovery and hasty and abrupt changes in the deadlines date not been made. 9. He also termed the Rs. Sibal said the government made “no loss” in allocating spectrum in 2008. also failed to notice how his predecessor. The CAG observed that the Telecom Ministry was “not open to the idea of discussing and deliberating the issues involved at appropriate levels even when there was a high risk of huge revenue loss to the government exchequer.000 crore and later enhanced its offer to Rs.000 crore. It even agreed to increase the bid price in the event of any counter bid.1. in November 2007. 12. 6. . the fact was that TRAI recommendations on pricing were never discussed at a meeting of the full Telecom Commission between the date of submission of TRAI's recommendations and the date of Mr.752 crore in its letter to Mr. the DoT even overruled objections of the Ministries of Finance and.” Pakistan seeks report on Samjhauta blasts probe ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday officially asked India for a progress report on investigations into the Samjhauta Express blasts.

The former Election Commissioner. which are cross- referred extensively. That would go a long way toward dispelling concerns about the Chinese military.' arms sales to Taiwan last year were points of disagreement. “It was reiterated to him that the government of Pakistan was awaiting the progress made by the government of India in the investigations. presented the award to Dr. G.S.S. Mr. which was said to have demonstrated anti- satellite and anti-ship ballistic missile capability. consistent and not subject to shifting political winds. Following a series of meetings between top defence officials from the two countries this week. Pakistan has time again accused New Delhi of raising a hue and cry on terrorism.V. According to a statement put out by the Foreign Office.” At a press briefing Mr. Raman NEW DELHI: Agricultural scientist K.S. Pakistan drew the Indian diplomat's attention to reports on the investigations into the blasts.V.. “China must defend itself.S.” and that the military improvements were not targeting any nation in particular. a precursor to Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington on January 19. Peeved at India making the dialogue process hostage to the Mumbai terror case. Touching upon the U. Raman at a function here on Friday. He was also on the faculty of the Michigan State University. misunderstanding or miscalculation.' arms sales to Taiwan last year.” Regarding China's development of a new.. fifth-generation stealth fighter. Krishnamurthy. defence official saying. he also received management training at the Indian Institute of Management. Swaminathan Research Foundation. Raman has been awarded the prestigious Bharat Jyoti Award of the India International Friendship Society for his contributions to science. Bharat Jyoti Award for K.S. United States. Liang responded to the issue arguing that the gap between the Chinese military and more advanced countries was “at least two or three decades. Gates said.G. Srinivas. Minister Liang noted. Yet they respectively hinted that the China's development of a stealth aircraft and the U. following which Beijing broke off military-to-military contact with Washington. Pakistan has been using the investigations into the blasts to counter criticism of delay on Islamabad's front in the Mumbai terror attack case. because the U.China military talks reveal frictions Washington: In comments to media made in Beijing.V. Baldev Raj is INAE's new chief Chennai: Baldev Raj. while ignoring its own responsibilities.V. Rao Centre for Sustainable Food Security at the Chennai-based M. “In order to reduce the chances of miscommunication. arms sales to Taiwan seriously damaged China's core interests.The Acting Deputy High Commissioner of India. but. and the Cornell University. A former Chairman of the Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. Raman was also Director of the B.” Of late. U. Ahmedabad.. the Chinese should be clear about their strategy and doctrine. Dr. technology and development. United States Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Chinese Minister of National Defence General Liang Guanglie suggested that they had reached a broad agreement on the need for stronger bilateral military ties.V. He has authored severall books and published over 200 research papers in national and international journals. G. “On that our position has been clear and consistent: We are against it.” . was called to the Foreign Office by Director-General (South Asia) Afrasiab and told that a response from New Delhi should be conveyed at the earliest. Director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) in Kalpakkam has been elected president of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE). it is important that our military-to-military ties are solid.S. the American Forces Press Services quoted a U. Apart from a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin.

'' “This has given us the confidence to get our financial sector to be evaluated by the IMF and the World Bank. which has claimed the lives of 829 people. Addressing the second international finance conference. Mukherjee said the banking sector had been given a target to provide banking services to every habitat with a population of over 2. also Interior Minister. And the government had repeatedly rejected the idea of an international. Mukherjee said the country had done a self-assessment of the financial sector in 2009 and was found “compliant with most of the internationally-accepted standards I banking security.S. ETA announced what it described as a permanent ceasefire in March 2006 within the framework of negotiations with Madrid. Euskadi Ta Askatasuna ETA offer of ceasefire not sufficient: Spain MADRID: Armed Basque separatists ETA announced on Monday a permanent. So we have voluntarily sought a full-fledged FSAP. organised by the Indian Institute of Management.” said the group in text and video declarations. The commission would rewrite and clean up financial sector laws and bring them in line with the requirements of the sector. Mr. bar.” he said. Mr. they expressed solidarity regarding discussions on North Korea and the crisis in the Korean peninsula. admitted that the surge in capital inflows and inflation. which is an international evaluation exercise conducted by the two global bodies. Mukherjee. said successive Spanish governments and parties had demanded an irreversible. the pin. “ETA has decided to declare a permanent and general ceasefire which will be verifiable by the international community. Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said here on Monday. ETA set off a bomb in the carpark of Madrid-Barajas airport. or the like. market and the insurance sector. But the Minister.000 by March 2012. Rubalcaba said ETA clearly wanted to claim a price for its ceasefire by acting as the guarantor of a supposed negotiation. was more positive than he had been in the past. on which or by means of which a wheel or pair of wheels rotates) Financial sector: India seeks IMF evaluation KOLKATA: India has voluntarily sought a comprehensive financial sector assessment programme (FSAP) by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank as the country has been found to be compliant with internationally- accepted financial standards. Mr. verifiable ceasefire after more than 40 years of bloodshed but Spain's government rejected it as insufficient. killing two men. shaft. Mr. definitive end to ETA violence. and China could “work to maintain peace and security on the Korean peninsula by facilitating engagement between the two Koreas and working toward the de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”. . Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba. RINL to set up rail axle factory NEW DELHI: Indian Railways has joined hands with Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) to set up a new rail axle manufacturing factory in New Jalpaiguri in West Bengal. But in December 2006. which represents armed struggle. Mr. and Europe were facing several problems. AXLE(Machinery . Behind them on the wall hung the ETA symbol of a snake wrapped around an axe. Mr.In particular. rather than Spanish. he expressed satisfaction that India among a few other countries had shown a ‘robust growth' of Gross Domestic Product while the revival process in the U. He pointed out that though the global economic meltdown had ‘compelled' the world leaders to rethink some traditional principles of financial policy matters. verification. It was the first unilateral declaration of a permanent ceasefire in ETA's campaign of bombings and shootings for a homeland independent of Spain.S. he said. including the hardening of global commodity prices. Calcutta. Gates said the U. was a matter of concern faced by the Centre. who has flatly rejected previous ETA ceasefire offers. Mukherjee said the Centre would soon set up a financial sector legislative reforms commission. however. Railways. Emphasising that the Centre is determined to carry out reforms in the financial sector with financial stability becoming an integral part of policy discussions.

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