A former chief of India’s telecom regulator on Thursday told the court hearing the 2G scam case that the panel had no authentic information about the spectrum’s availability in 2007.
Testifying as a prosecution witness in the 2G spectrum allocation case, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) ex-chairman Nripendra Mishra told the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge O.P. Saini that TRAI did not have any authenticated information regarding the availability of spectrum in 2007 as this subject was dealt in the department of telecom.
Mishra, whose cross examination concluded Thursday, also told the court about a letter sent to him by a Kerala MP, Abdulla Kutty, raising the issue of a cartel by members of Cellular Operators Association of India. Kutty had raised several other issues too, he added.
Meanwhile, the court dropped the name of witness, Yogesh Mukund Kurle, on the CBI’s request. The prosecution had contended Kurle’s testimony would pertain to the same facts as deposed by another witness, Kailash Taparia, relationship manager, State Bank of India, Mumbai.
The CBI has alleged that former telecom minister A. Raja allotted the second generation (2G) radiowaves in an arbitrary manner and caused a huge loss to the government exchequer.
According to the government auditor, the 2G scam, allegedly masterminded by Raja, pertained to a biased distribution of mobile airwaves and operating licences, in lieu of kickbacks, to telecom firms that could have cost the treasury up to Rs.1.76 lakh crore in lost revenue.
Nineteen individuals and six companies are accused in the case. Except for Raja and former telecom secretary Sidharth Behura, all other arrested accused have been released on bail.