Former telecom secretary D.S. Mathur Tuesday told a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court here that telecom commission members had suggested auctioning the 2G mobile airwaves and operating licences in 2007.
“The alternatives suggested included…auctioning the spectrum or bidding for the new licences,” Mathur deposed.
Testifying as a CBI witness, Mathur told Special Judge O.P. Saini that the alternatives were suggested at a meeting in October 2007 between members of telecom commission and then communications minister A. Raja.
A note containing details of the meeting was sent to Raja for his orders. It did not come back to me with any orders of Raja during my tenure, Mathur said.
The CBI alleged that Raja manipulated the cut-off dates for applications and followed the first come first served policy to wrongly benefit co-accused companies Unitech Wireless and Swan Telecom.
The CBI presented a letter dated Nov 2, 2007 written by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Raja and a letter dated Dec 12, 2007, written by Raja to the prime minister.
The two letters were shown to Mathur who denied having any knowledge about them.
Raja had told the court earlier that he explained the spectrum allocation policy to the prime minister through his letter.
According to the government auditor, the 2G spectrum allocation case pertained to biased distribution of mobile airwaves and operating licences, in lieuf 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 another accused, all other arrested accused have been released on bail.