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Rediff.com  » Business » CVC may scuttle mega 2G scam probe, says BJP

CVC may scuttle mega 2G scam probe, says BJP

Last updated on: September 8, 2010 20:00 IST

CVC may scuttle mega 2G scam probe, says BJP

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A Correspondent in New Delhi


Alleging that the chief task of the new Central Vigilance Commissioner, P J Thomas, is to scuttle the Central Bureau of Investigation probe that his predecessor had ordered into the 2G spectrum allocation scam, the Bharatiya Janata Party has coined a slogan: 2G is maha Bofors ghotala.

The BJP fears that Thomas might put a damper on the probe 'using a law ministry note, that he secured when he was the telecom secretary, which says that the allocation of airwaves is part of policy that cannot be questioned.

Claiming to have 'dug up' the details about former telecom secretary Thomas's role in keeping corruption watchdogs like the CVC and Comptroller and Auditor General away from probe into irregularities concerning the 2G spectrum allotment, the BJP on Wednesday circulated a document in this regard to the media.

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Image: (L to R) New CVC P J Thomas, Ramsingh Devisingh Shekhawat, President Pratibha Patil, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Photographs: PIB
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The document is related to out a query of the Department of Telecommunication and the response of the Union law ministry that the spectrum allocation is a policy decision of the government which cannot be challenged by the CVC or the Comptroller and Auditor General.

The speed with which the note was moved from table to table to obtain signatures of Telecom Minister A Raja and P J Thomas, among others, within three days from August 10 to 12 and the law ministry's immediate response on August 13 show the hurry with which the government wants to bury the 'mega-Bofors scam' (maha-Bofors ghotala), BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar charged, while releasing the documents purportedly prepared to thwart the probe.

Javadekar wondered if the documents were got ready three weeks ahead of Thomas becoming the CVC to enable him to act on them to scuttle the probe and 'rescue A Raja from the charge of the massive corruption'.

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Photographs: Reuters
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CVC may scuttle mega 2G scam probe, says BJP

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The law ministry note agrees with the DoT that the spectrum allocation undertaken in 2008 that kicked up a big row with allegations of the exchequer having lost a whopping Rs 60,000 crore to Rs 1 lakh crore (Rs 600 billion to Rs 1 trillion) was part of the New Telecom Policy approved by the government in 1999 and as such CAG or CVC cannot sit in judgement on the policy decisions.

"CAG, CVC and other watchdogs no doubt play a very significant role in any democracy, but they being constitutional/statutory functionaries cannot exceed the role assigned to them under the Constitution or law. Even the courts refrain from questioning the wisdom of the government in policy matters, unless the policy decision is patently arbitrary, discriminatory or malafide," the law ministry said in its seven-page response to DoT, citing various Supreme Court rulings.

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Image: BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar.

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CVC may scuttle mega 2G scam probe, says BJP

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Javadekar said, "If the theory propounded by the law ministry at the instance of DoT, whose many officers are already in the CBI net, is accepted to discontinue the probe into the 2G scam, there should be no surprise if the same yardstick is used to stop any probe into the massive rackets of fund misuse in the Commonwealth Games or into the food scam of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar."

The BJP spokesman saw a design behind the first attempt being made to close all probes against the 2G scam and then use the same logic to rule out probes against all mega scandals of the government.

He said that this appears to be only way out for the government that has been unable to curb widespread corruption.

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Image: Telecom Minister A Raja.
Photographs: Reuters
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Pointing out that Telecom Minister A Raja has time and again in his defence claimed that he was working under the guidance of the Prime Minister, Javdekar said, "He also made the prime minister a co-accused in the worst scam."

"In the light of all this revelation, BJP would like to know from the government that when it did not make money from the 2G spectrum allocation as projected, then why did it recently auction the 3G spectrum?" Javdekar said.


Photographs: Reuters
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