2G case: Ex-official says Raja took policy decisions

July 31st, 2012 - 9:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) Being the then telecom minister, A. Raja was the “final authority” to take decisions on policy matters, former department of telecommunications (DoT) official A.K. Srivastava Tuesday told a CBI special court here in the 2G case.

Srivastava also said that all the files were submitted to Raja, key accused in the case, through proper channel for final decisions on various proposals.

He added that the cabinet minister was the final authority in DoT for approval of policy matters of the access service (AS) cell.

Srivastava, who retired as deputy director general (AS) from the DoT, deposed as a prosecution witness before Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge O.P. Saini.

“The cabinet minister is the final authority in DoT for approval of policy matters of access service cell. The proposals are normally initiated by the section, that is, at the section officer level, the ADG level and the director level,” Srivastava said.

“The file is then seen by the DDG and, thereafter, is submitted for decision through proper channel, that is, through member (technology) and secretary (DoT), to the minister of communications and information technology,” he said.

He identified Raja, his writing and signatures on some of the documents shown to him by the CBI prosecutor in the court. Recording of Srivastava’s statement would continue Wednesday.

It was further submitted by him that when he re-joined the department as DDG (AS) on May 31, 2007 after coming back from deputation, the main policy change which he noticed was the migration of basic and cellular operators.

The testimony of Srivastava is significance as he earlier in his statement to the CBI had said that Raja had noted in a DoT file that the cut-off date for receiving applications for grant of the 2G spectrum licences would be Oct 1, 2007.

The CBI in its chargesheet alleged that in pursuance of a conspiracy to favour some telecom companies, Raja decided to accept the applications filed with DoT till Sep 25 only.

The CBI alleged that Raja wanted to favour Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) and Swan Telecom.

According to the government auditor, Raja was biased while distributing second generation (2G) mobile airwaves and operating licences to telecom firms, causing a loss of up to Rs.1.76 lakh crore in lost revenues to the treasury.

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