The Spectrum Scam: Blacklist the Beneficiary Companies; Constitute Special Final Court to Recover the Loss

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

“The fact that there has been loss to the national exchequer in the allocation of 2G spectrum cannot be denied”, has said the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in his ‘performance audit report’ that has shown how corrupt is the government run by Dr. Manmohan Singh.

“There is an imperative need to fix responsibility and enforce accountability for the lapses highlighted in the Audit Report” in order to ensure that “such lapses do not occur in any Ministry or Department of the Government” in future, the CAG has stressed.

The Prime Minister whose policy of globalization has pushed India into all such sorts of treachery and corruption has not done anything in this regard so far except cultivating the resignation of the minister concerned, who hailed from his ally DMK, under assurance given to the supremo thereof that any of his loyal dogs, as he would prefer, shall be included in the cabinet.

But resignation of the minister is not enough.

Prime Minister Singh must reveal as to what extent he himself is involved with the offence unveiled by the CAG. Handing over India’s spectrums to foreign players through ghost corridors and handing over the key to Tatas and Ambanis to loot the exchequer in telecom sector is such a crime against the country that it would never be natural to believe that it happened without knowledge/involvement of the PM.

In fact, the CAG has found that the PMO was well aware of the injurious transaction. THE CAG has noted that concerned minister had in a communication dated 2nd November 2007, confirmed to the Prime Minister that “the processing of applications was to be on the First Come First Served basis. However, audit found that DoT deviated even from the FCFS policy in letter and spirit”. This revelation confirms that Dr. Singh is in know of what was happening in the spectrum allocation matter. He therefore is required to explain his position.

The CAG has given details of loss committed to the country which being presumptive may also be much more than what the audit has calculated. There is no surprise in it. Mega scams have crippled India ever since Dr. Singh has desecrated the country with his economic policies. And the economic offenders are so united that Dr. Singh has so far succeeded in escaping law for all the harms done to India. This time also he may escape. Stonewalling of the Parliament by BJP over the issue is just an eye washing drama. History has witnessed how this party has enacted many such dramas in the Parliament in the past that ultimately has ended in protecting Manmohan Singh and the economic offenders.

As for instance, one may recall the motion it’s heavyweight in the 10th Lok Sabha Jaswant Singh had moved on illegalities centering the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) in its first session.

Debates had exposed the dirty patronization given to this bank of terror funding and drug trafficking in which Singh’s role as Governor of the Reserve Bank as well as the Finance Minister of India was coming to light like never before. Singh had not been able to defend himself and the motion had put him to the worst of predicament. But, its mover, the BJP member, dramatically withdrew the motion, at the last moment. While withdrawing the motion Jaswant had said,

“In the chamber of the Speaker, …… the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs and others and indeed the hon. Speaker said: why do you not concede to the fact that you would withdraw your motion at the end of the debate? So, I am bound by my word, and I seek the leave of the House to withdraw my motion”.

Obviously, behind back of the Lok Sabha, where the debate over his motion was going on, Jaswant had given word to the government to withdraw it at the end of the debate to render the entire debate inconsequential. BJP was a party to this drama. Therefore, the present protests of BJP over the spectrum issue cannot be taken seriously.

In the circumstances, people who love to see India free from plutocracy and its democracy revived, must demand for immediate resignation of Manmohan Singh and must not rest till he gets out.

People must demand for instant start of prosecution against all the IAS and Techno officers involved with the spectrum scam unveiled by CAG.

The CAG has clearly mentioned that the official functionaries have done everything to facilitate the scam.

“From a scrutiny of the records and information made available it appears that the High Powered Telecom Commission which also includes part time members from the Ministry of Finance, Industry, IT and Planning Commission was not apprised of the TRAI recommendations of August 2007 and hence, was not afforded an opportunity to deliberate on the merits of the TRAI recommendations. It is also seen that the High Powered Telecom Commission was not even consulted at the time of grant of 122 UAS licenses in 2008”.

The CAG further exposed how the functionaries have resorted to treachery against the country in executing the scam. The report notes,

It has also been revealed in the course of audit that the Ministry of Finance, in “November 2007, had questioned the sanctity of continuing with the price determined way back in 2001 without any indexation or current valuation. The Ministry had sought a review of the matter. This advice of the Ministry of Finance was overlooked by the DoT ostensibly on the basis of a four-year old Cabinet decision (October 2003) on the premise that it was authorized to calculate the entry fee for licenses as per the recommendations of TRAI in 2003. DoT maintained that ‘spectrum pricing was within the normal work carried out by them.’

Not only this, but also the advice of Ministry of Law and Justice were ignored. The report goes on to say,

“In October 2007 at its own initiative, the DoT requested the Ministry of Law and Justice to obtain and communicate the opinion of the Attorney General/Solicitor General of India to enable the DoT to handle an unprecedented rush of applications in a fair and equitable manner, which would be legally tenable. The Ministry of Law, at the level of the Hon’ble Minister, opined that in view of the importance of the case and the various options, which seem to have emerged, it was necessary that the whole issue be first considered by an Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) and in that process legal opinion of the Attorney General can be obtained. Surprisingly, this opinion, which the DoT had sought on its own volition, was felt to be ‘out of context’ at the level of the Hon’ble MoC&IT and hence the benefit of a discussion in the EGoM was also forgone. Thus, such important decisions seem to have been taken in DoT without the issues being deliberated and discussed at an inter-ministerial forum”.

All these instances and many more in the report unambiguously show that the top bureaucracy and technocracy under the DoT did not allow inter-ministerial forum to use collective wisdom in transaction of the spectrum, which has caused so massive financial loss to India.

Action against these functionaries is essentially urgent.

We know, Manmohan Singh shall try to save his skin by using the BJP as he had done in the past. But if he claims to be innocent, let him first blacklist the companies that have benefited from the scam. Let him disclose the names and position of the officers that have facilitated the scam. Let him initiate time bound criminal cases against them including the then Minister for the crime committed against the country and let him appoint a special court to recover the loss from the companies that have looted the exchequer. If the BJP and the other opposition parties that are harping on creation of a JPC to go through the scam are serious in their concern for the country, let them have the Parliament pass an instant law to constitute a special court with more than one judge to act as the final court for recovery of the loss of the exchequer from the spectrum beneficiaries.

The country is more important than the buccaneers in power.

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