Order on cognisance of chargesheet in additional spectrum case

A special CBI court in New Delhi is likely to pronounce its order on taking cognisance of the charge sheet filed against Airtel, Vodafone and others for alleged irregularities in the allocation of additional spectrum to them during the NDA regime.

Special CBI Judge OP Saini, who is exclusively trying the 2G spectrum allocation scam case, will pronounce the order on taking cognisance of the CBI’s charge sheet filed on December 21 last year.

The agency had named former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh and three telecom firms — Bharti Cellular Ltd, Hutchison Max Pvt Ltd (now known as Vodafone India Ltd) and Sterling Cellular Ltd (now known as Vodafone Mobile Service Ltd) — as accused in the case.

In the 57-page charge sheet, the CBI has booked all the accused for the offences of criminal conspiracy (120-B) of the IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The court, on March 8, had pulled up the agency for only “blaming” the government servants and not naming any company officials in the charge sheet after CBI prosecutor KK Goyal had said they had tried their best to find out if any company officials were part of the conspiracy but they could not find anybody’s name.

The CBI had earlier told the court that no resolution was passed by these accused firms for applying for additional spectrum.

The court had earlier directed the CBI to place before it documents relating to resolution passed by the three firms, including Airtel and Vodafone, for seeking additional spectrum during the NDA regime.



Recruitment scam: Antony orders shifting of NDA commandant

Lt. Gen.Jitendra Singh, commandant of the National Defence Academy (NDA) at Pune, that has been caught in a recruitment scam in recent days, was on Wednesday shunted out by the defence ministry to ensure “a free and fair” probe into the case, an official said.

“Defence minister AK Antony has ordered the immediate shifting of Lt. Gen. Jitendra Singh, Commandant, National Defence Academy (NDA), Pune. This is with the view to ensure a free and fair investigation in the alleged bribery racket in the recruitment of Group ‘C’ posts in the NDA, Khadakwasla, Pune,” the official said.

Court tells National Defence Academy to ease security norms

The Bombay High Court Thursday directed Pune’s National Defence Academy (NDA) to ease security restrictions imposed on the road leading to the tri-services institution, a lawyer said.


The directions, spelling a setback for the NDA, came on a bunch of public interest litigations (PILs) challenging the institution’s move to restrict movement of people and vehicles on the five-km long NDA Road on security grounds,” said Sandeep Salunkhe, lawyer for some of the petitioners.


“Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi of the Bombay High Court have directed NDA to relax barricades for three kms from Chandni Chowk side to Khadakwasla side, where NDA is situated,” Salunkhe told .

 However, the judges have allowed security precautions like metal detectors, frisking and certain parking restrictions.

 Last Monday, several petitioners, including Yogi Holiday Resorts, Shrushti Enterprises, Oasis Club, Garden Resorts and individual joggers, S. Pimpalkhare and S. Tama had moved the court in writ petitions.


The petitioners claimed that the NDA has illegally barricaded a public road leading to its sprawling campus, which was causing great inconvenience to the public at large.


Advocate Girish Kulkarni, who represented NDA, contended it was not in a position to relax the security norms.


A day later (Tuesday), the court sought replies from the central government, the NDA and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) over the issue.


On its part, the NDA argued that these (security) measures were thrust upon it by the continued violation of existing rules by vested interests and the lack of will to resolve the long pending security related issues.


The NDA contended that in recent years, the unchecked proliferation of commercial ventures has started attracting large crowds on the NDA Road, posing a security threat to the institution spread across more than 8,000 acres and housing over 15,000 people, including staff and students.


The NDA has moved the top PMC authorities, and the Pune district collector and sought a meeting with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to resolve the matter.

2G auction in continuity with NDA policy: Raja

Defending his role in the allocation of 2G spectrum, former communications minister A. Raja Monday said the decision to auction the scarce radio frequency was a continuity of the policy of the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

“I have only implemented what I have inherited. Dayanidhi Maran (communications minister from 2004-07) resigned, so I became the minister,” Raja’s counsel Sushil Kumar said before special CBI judge O.P. Saini.

The CBI Saturday concluded its arguments on the framing of charges in the 2G phone spectrum case, charging the 14 accused and three companies of causing a loss of 30,984 crore to the exchequer by selling the scarce resource, also called radio frequency that helps carry telecom signals, to private players cheap.

The accused also include former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura and Raja’s personal aide R.K. Chandolia, DMK MP Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV chief Sharad Kumar, Cineyug’s Karim Morani, Swan Telecom’s Shahid Usman Balwa, his cousin Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal, who are directors of Kusegaon, and Unitech Wireless’ Sanjay Chandra.

The other accused are Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara of Reliance Group, and Vinod Goenka of Swan Telecom. In addition, the three companies are DB Realty, Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireles.