SC: CAG cannot be only basis for cancellation of spectrum

Judges make remarks during hearing of petitions on 2G spectrum matter by Centre for Public Interest Litigation and Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today made it clear that the CAG report could not be the only basis for cancellation of licenses for 2G spectrum and that any decision taken by the government on this issue would be subject to the outcome of the petitions pending before it.

"Everything they (government) do after filing of the petition, is subject to the outcome of the petitions," a bench comprising Judges GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly said. "We do not know what they are doing. But if they do, it is subject to the outcome of our order."

The judges made these remarks while considering a petition by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), seeking to restrain the government from regularising the license of the telecom companies which failed to meet the roll-out obligations, reports PTI.

The court is also hearing another petition by Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy, seeking the cancellation of 2G licenses allotted during the tenure of former telecom minister A Raja, on the ground that there were large-scale irregularities in the allocation process.

The court has posted the hearing on the petitions for 1st March.

Mr Bhushan submitted that CPIL had listed five reasons why the 2G licences should be cancelled. He said that the spectrum was allocated without auction at the price prevailing in 2001 and the cut-off date was advanced which resulted in the elimination of two-thirds of the applicants.

Further, 85 out of 122 entities were ineligible operators and 69 of them failed to meet their roll-out obligations, Mr Bhushan said. The bench said all these factors will be considered at the time of hearing.


Exports in December up 36.4%, highest in 33 months

Expressing confidence, commerce secretary Rahul Khullar had said that India's exports would touch $215-$225 billion during the current fiscal

New Delhi: India's exports in December 2010 rose by 36.4% to $22.5 billion, up from $16.4 billion in the corresponding month of the previous month. The December export figure is the highest in the last 33 months, reports PTI quoting government data.

However, imports contracted by 11.1% to $25.13 billion over the same period last year, resulting in a narrow trade deficit of $2.6 billion, according to commerce ministry data released today.

During the nine-month period between April and December 2010, the country's outbound shipments grew by 29.5% to $164.7 billion from $127.1 billion in the same period last year, the data said.

Imports, too, increased by 19% to $246.7 billion during the first nine months of the current fiscal from $207.3 billion in the same period last year. The trade gap during the April-December period stood at $82 billion.

Expressing confidence, commerce secretary Rahul Khullar had said that India's exports would touch $215-$225 billion during the current fiscal.


Silent National Anthem: Good Republic Day effort

The entire anthem sung by physically challenged kids in the sign lingo gives a clear message that the nation belongs to everyone

This was a national anthem with a difference. It was 'silent'. The rendition was sponsored and released by BIG cinemas to mark our 61st Republic Day.

The entire anthem is executed in the sign lingo. As you may have guessed, it is performed by children with hearing and speech difficulties. I personally found it to be a very charming idea (though some people may whine that physically challenged kids are being used to gain glory). The message is clear: The nation belongs to everyone. And that there are people with serious problems of their own, but their feeling of patriotism remains intact. Unlike many of us 'normal' folks.

Naturally, emotional stuff like this, tugs at the heart stings, and this particular film worked because it was directed and shot with a great deal of simplicity and sincerity, minus any special effects, celebrities and shoo shaa. It made you feel proud of the nation, and left tears in the eyes. Unlike ad film maker Kailash Surendranath's last year's Phir Mile Sur Republic Day film, which was essentially a Bollywood fashion parade disguised as patriotism. That idiotic film shot the blood pressure up several digits, rather than leave the chest puffed with pride.

We actually need more such nationalistic films. Faith in the nation is slowly and steadily eroding, young Indians (speaking generally, of course), don't feel any patriotic sentiments because of the scam after scam after scam we get hit with every other day. So, kudos for the

Here's another reason I approve of the 'silent' anthem: Since it was sponsored by BIG Cinemas, the film played across the multiplexes, before the start of the feature film. Now, I am dead against the idea of the anthem being played in movie halls, and it is screened only because the
state government (in Maharashtra, at least) has made it mandatory. Most people are compelled to rise and be obedient when the anthem comes on, while they have other things on their minds (and hands...popcorn, I mean!). This is forced nationalism and it doesn't work. But at least the 'silent anthem' brought in some freshness to the proceedings, and the janta actually participated in it.

In short, since this is a forced entry in flick halls, may as well inject some adrenalin into the anthem rather than keep it the usual, predictable, flag flying ritual. Jai Hind!


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