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'Raja was told to reconsider cut-off date for 2G licences'

Delhi,Immigration/Law/Rights, Mon, 09 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Former telecom secretary D.S. Mathur Monday told a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court that he had asked then telecom minister A. Raja to reconsider the cut-off date for receiving applications for 2G spectrum licences.


"I recorded this note after seeing the order of the then minister, dated Nov 2, 2007, as fixing the date of Sep 25, 2007 (cut-off date for issuance of licence) may be considered arbitrary and it may give rise to legal complications later on," said Mathur.


He added that he told Raja to reconsider the decision, however discussion was not recorded in the file.


Testifying as a CBI witness in the case, Mathur deposed before special CBI Judge O.P. Saini that Raja replied to him that decision on the cut-off date will be decided in future.


The CBI has alleged that Raja manipulated with the cut-off date to wrongly benefit Unitech and Swan, accused in the case.


Mathur told the court that according to a cabinet decision in 1999, it had laid down a condition that new licences should be given only when there is availability of spectrum.


He added that once Raja observed that whatever was discussed was not correctly recorded by him (Mathur) and he also said that in allocation of spectrum for dual technology, the date of payment of fee should determine the seniority.


According to the government auditor, the 2G spectrum allocation case pertained to 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 Behura, all other arrested accused have been released on bail.


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