India probes spectrum sales back to 2001

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
Indian investigators and the government have broadened their probes into the nation's spectrum scandal to cover licenses issued since 2001.
 
New telecom minister Kapil Sibal yesterday announced he will appoint a former Supreme Court judge to investigate all allocations since the 2001 2G allotment conducted by the then-governing BJP party, the Economic Times said.
 
The judge, Shivaraj Patil, will examine whether government procedures were consistent and transparent, and whether there were any deviations. He is expected to report on his findings in around four weeks.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has also revealed it will take the Supreme Court's advice and extend its own probe into spectrum sales back to 2001.
 
Tata Group chairman Ratan has also called for a widening of the inquiry to 2001. The tycoon, one of India’s best-known businessman, has been engaged in a public spat with Rajeev Chandrasekhar, an independent MP connected to the BJP.
 
In a series of open letters, the pair traded barbs over the spectrum controversy. Tata alleged that many of the telecom ministry's alleged improprieties with the 2008 allocation were based on decisions made in 2001 under the BJP.
 

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