Atal Behari Vajpayee-led regime chargesheeted by the CBI over additional spectrum allocation

Atal bihari

The CBI today filed a chargesheet in connection with alleged irregularities in spectrum allocation during the NDA regime involving three telecom companies, including Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India, while pegging the loss at Rs 846 crore.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's BJP-led NDA govt was in charge at the Centre then.

The CBI in its charge sheet filed before Special CBI Judge O P Saini named as accused Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone India Ltd and Hutchison Max and Sterling Cellular, retired IAS and former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh for alleged irregularities in grant of additional spectrum.

J R Gupta, former Deputy Director General (VAS) cell of DoT and former Director of BSNL, who was named in the FIR as one of the accused, has been made as one of the 73 witnesses in the case, the CBI told the court.

The agency said no action has been taken against former telecom minister Pramod Mahajan and no charges have been found against the promoters of Airtel and Vodafone.

The court has fixed January 14 for consideration of the charge sheet.

The agency alleged in the chargesheet that the DoT had increased the base spectrum for telecom companies from 4.4 MHz to 6.2 MHz during Mahajan's tenure and also allocated extra spectrum on subscriber-based criteria.

It alleged that Mahajan had allotted additional spectrum to these companies in a hurried manner and in contravention with the then telecom policy.

The accused have been charge sheeted under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act relating to misconduct by public servant by accepting illegal gratification by abusing his official position.

"Investigation has revealed that Shyamal Ghosh, then chairman of Telecom Commission and Secretary DoT, in conspiracy with late Pramod Mahajan, then telecom minister and the accused beneficiary companies i.e. Hutchison Max and Sterling Cellular and Bharti Airtel Ltd through their

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