इंडियन आवाज़     21 May 2024 09:32:19      انڈین آواز

Congress flays NDA, welcomes SC ruling on 2G probe

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NEW DELHI: (AMN) The Congress party on Wednesday criticised the then NDA government in 1998-99 alleging that it had violated contractual obligations in the telecom sector while issuing licences to the service providers. Talking to reporters here party spokesman Manish Tiwari, said it had resulted in several thousands of crores of rupees to the exchequer. Quoting the CAG report of the relevant period, he questioned the NDA government’s decision to reduce the licence fee at the fag end of its rule in April 2004. Mr. Tiwari said the BJP is divided on the demand for a JPC probe. He alleged the opposition is running away from the debate in Parliament because their acts during NDA rule would expose them.    

The Congress spokesman also welcomed the Supreme Court’s observation that the investigations into telecom matters should go back to 2001. Reacting to the Congress charge that the opposition is stalling both the Houses, the BJP reminded the Congress of its own acts of stalling the Parliamentary proceedings for 17 days on its demand for a JPC probe in the past. Party spokesman Prakash Javadekar said that the JPC demand is justified.    

Janata Dal (United), an ally of NDA, also said that the opposition’s pressure is to make the  government action in the 2G spectrum scam. Party Chief, Sharad Yadav told reporters that efforts are being made to bring all the opposition parties together making corruption a nation-wide issue.

Earlier the Supreme Court has favoured investigations into the 2G spectrum case from 2001, widening the ambit of the probe. If done, it will cover the NDA period also. The apex court has also asked the Centre to consider setting  up a special court to deal with the scam. A Bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly observed that the issue raised in the case is not only limited to 1.76 lakh crore rupees reportedly lost during the period of former Telecom Minister A. Raja but has a much wider compass. He said, what happened in 2001 also needs to be looked into when the first-come-first-served was the norm for spectrum allocation. They said, it is for the CBI to investigate and find out.

The Bench said, there is a need for a special court because of the magnitude of the offence. Otherwise the objective of the prevention of Corruption Act and Foreign Exchange Management Act, FEMA, cannot be achieved.

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