Ex-telecom minister Pramod Mahajan not a conspirator: 2G court

New Delhi: An attempt to drag previous NDA regime in 2G telecom scam was trashed by a special court which said CBI failed to establish that the then telecom minister Pramod Mahajan and then secretary Shyamal Ghosh were in a conspiracy to favour private players in additional spectrum allocation in 2002.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini said both Mahajan and Ghosh were having different view points on the issue of allocation of additional spectrum and it was evident from the evidence brought on record.

It said that as per evidence brought by CBI, while the Mahajan had favoured allocation of additional spectrum, the then secretary had differed.

Mahajan was the Telecom Minister from September 1, 2001 to January 28, 2003 during the erstwhile NDA regime.

“Now the question is when the secretary and the minister were differing on every point, how can they be conspirators? Moreover, Shyamal Ghosh was not in favour of allocating additional spectrum to the existing operators at least from March 9, 2001 when the letter was sent to COAI declining additional spectrum and thereafter, at every step, he was resisting it,” the court said while discharging Ghosh and the three telecom firms in the case.

It also noted that aditional spectrum issue was discussed in detail by the minister in the department with the relevant authorities and need for additional spectrum to the existing operators was recognized and a decision in that regard was taken.

“The central question is: whether the minister discussed the matter in the department with the relevant authorities or not? The material discussed above reveals that the matter was discussed in detail in the department by relevant authorities.

“There is no obligations on a superior to always honour the view of subordinates. Once a matter is discussed, the superior, in this case secretary (telecom) and minister, were free to take a decision in their discretion in the light of existing facts and circumstances,” it said.

The court said it cannot be said that decision was taken in haste without consultation or concurrence with Member (Finance) but certainly there is no formal decision of telecom commission.


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