2G spectrum allocation flawless, government tells apex court

New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) The government Thursday told the Supreme Court that the department of telecommunication (DoT) acted in public interest and in pursuance of its policy decision while allocating 2G spectrum licences to telecom operators in 2008.

In an affidavit filed Thursday, the government opposed a plea of petitioner Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) that either the court should monitor the investigation into 2G Spectrum matter by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the matter should be investigated by a special investigating team (SIT).

‘The allotment process in 2007-08 (of 2G spectrum) was correct as per law and in keeping with the extant policy and procedures,’ the affidavit asserted.

The affidavit filed by Sita Ram Meena, assistant director general, DoT, said monitoring of investigations by the court was done in rare and extraordinary circumstances where there was a definite material to show that the investigation was not being carried out in a proper manner.

The government said that pricing of the 2G spectrum fell under the policy making powers of the executive, in which the scope of judicial review was ‘highly restricted’.

The affidavit described as ‘wholly incorrect’ that the licences in 2G spectrum were issued in disregard to the advice of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The prime minister by his letter of Nov 2, 2007, raised certain issues which were replied by the telecom minister on the same day, it said.

The government said that by a letter of Nov 27, 2007, the union finance secretary raised certain queries regarding the entry fee and the telecom secretary replied to these Nov 29, 2007.

‘Thereafter, no further reference or communication was received and there was no difference of opinion between the two ministries,’ said the affidavit.

Replying to the allegation that 2G spectrum licences were allocated to ineligible companies, the affidavit said the licences were allocated according to the guidelines issued Dec 14, 2005.

The government said that the applicant companies gave an undertaking that if any information furnished by them was found to be incorrect, their application was liable to be cancelled including the licence, if granted.

If any misrepresentation of facts is brought to the notice, necessary action could be taken as per due procedure under the relevant rules, the affidavit said.

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