The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing the 2G spectrum allocation scam, Thursday rejected reports of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the law ministry and told a Delhi court that their views on the case were unsolicited.
CBI Special Public Prosecutor U.U. Lalit told the special CBI court, presided over by Judge O.P. Saini, that the law ministry’s report to department of telecommunications (DoT) defining the term ‘associates’ is unsolicited. The report implied that some of the telecom licence applicants were not associated with each other.
The CBI refused to bring the TRAI and the law ministry’s report on record and told the court that if the it wanted it to be placed before it then it should pass an order.
The probe agency said that the covering letter of the TRAI report that came Aug 28 was unsolicited and contradicted the expert committee’s view. The expert panel had pegged the spectrum’s value at Rs.5,500-9,500 crore.
The CBI told the court that it only asked the TRAI to estimate the actual price of the spectrum. The CBI has thus written to the telecom authority highlighting contradictions.
It said it would place only the TRAI report and not its covering letter in court.
Lalit said that the TRAI report, sent to the CBI last month, implied that there was no loss to the exchequer on account of former communications minister A. Raja giving away licences to nine companies below market rates.
‘We are not saying that we are fully relying on that particular report. I maintain my stand and we have travelled far beyond,’ said Lalit, adding that the CBI was bound by the submission made in the charge sheet.
After the TRAI report was submitted before the special court last week, the court said that it would hear arguments based on the report Sep 15 – the day fixed for framing of charges in the 2G case.
The CBI placed the report before the court after counsel of Raja and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa asked the court seeking direction to the CBI to bring two reports – the TRAI report and a report from the law ministry to the DoT on definition of ‘associates’ – on record.
The CBI said that the application was not maintainable and this should not be taken on record.
‘The CBI will not work on the accused’s direction, we are probing the case in right direction,’ Lalit said.
‘The court is duty bound to direct the agency to produce all the documents or case diary related to the investigation,’ said the defence.
Raja submitted before the court that the CBI should be asked to give me even a single piece of paper to show that I conspired with the then finance minister to cause a loss to the government through the allocation of spectrum.