2G: Raja cross-examines former official (Lead)

September 10th, 2012 - 10:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Sushil Kumar New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) Accused in the 2G spectrum case and former telecom minister A. Raja Monday began the cross-examination of key witness and former official A.K. Srivastava in a special court here.

Raja’s counsel and senior advocate Sushil Kumar asked former department of telecommunications (DoT) official Srivastava various question related to his work and the spectrum allocation during his tenure.

“The CBI officials had asked for the files which were broadly connected with the formation of policy regarding licensing and issue of licences. I assisted the CBI team in locating these files,” said Srivastava.

The performance audit of DoT by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) was already underway when the searches were conducted by the CBI, he told Special Judge O.P. Saini.

“A note dated April 20, 2010 was submitted to me by Madan Chaurasia pertaining to reply of CAG audit inspection memos regarding discrepancy in issue of letters of intent and their compliance and loss of potential revenue of Rs.48,374 crore due to non-revision of entry fee,” the ex-telecom official said.

“This note sheet came to me through proper channel and I marked the same… eventually, this was approved as amended by the then telecom minister A. Raja May 3, 2010,” he said.

Testifying as a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) witness in the case, Srivastava earlier told the court about the investigation conducted by the probe agency in DoT.

During the cross-examination, the ex-telecom official apprised the court about various cases related to 2G spectrum allocation in various courts.

He mentioned a writ petition filed by Arvind Gupta against DoT in the Delhi High Court.

“It is correct that in this writ petition also the issues pertaining to entry fee, cut-off date and first come, first served policy were raised. In this writ also, DoT filed a counter affidavit,” he told the court.

He added that this counter-affidavit was settled by then solicitor general G.E. Vahanvati.

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 revenue to the treasury.

Including Raja, 19 individuals and six companies were accused in two separate cases related to the allotment of 2G spectrum.

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