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The Media-Led Telecom Investigation

  • Date Submitted: 03/26/2011 02:51 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 45.7 
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CH- 25/9, 9/10, 16/10, 23/10, 30/10, 18/12

The media-led telecom investigation into the 2G spectrum scam was wrapped up nice and clean between May 2007 and 2008. Now, after two years of inertia, the CAG's corroboration of facts and the intervention of the courts have ensured that telecom minister A Raja - the poster boy of the spectrum scam and the ugly face of coalition politics - has finally gone.

Despite Raja's refusal to acknowledge blame, his being edged out of office has lent a sense of public vindication, a reaffirmation of belief in justice. But this is just the first step. Real justice is a few miles away and it remains to be seen whether the government bridges this distance on a cycle rickshaw or a bullet train.

Simply put, investigations must be effectively and swiftly concluded and the culprits brought to book by those who have an impeccable track record - perhaps a special investigative team (SIT) under the Supreme Court's oversight. This could require special effort considering there is sufficient correspondence between Raja and the prime minister, which requires the PM to explain his position. At least five letters between the two were made public between November and December 2007. From these, it is fairly clear the PM was well aware of both the problem with Raja's first-come-first-served (FCFS) policy of allocating spectrum as well as the solution (auction), but did not stop Raja. Raja has further claimed in DoT's affidavit that the telecom ministry never received any legal opinion before proceeding with licence/spectrum allocation, although there is evidence of the law ministry recommending that he consult an eGoM. The PM still failed to restrain Raja.

The role of law officers in the scam is also highly questionable. Several existing procedures were circumvented such as changing the definition of FCFS and advancing the cut-off date of 2G licence applications to benefit private interests. The CAG documents serious allegations of...


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