SC slams govt, Reliance Infocomm over Amar Singh phone-tapping issue

The remarks of the bench came as Reliance Infocomm had intercepted Mr Singh’s telephone between 22nd October and 21st December 2005, on the basis of two letters of the “competent authority” which had several grammatical errors. Subsequently, it was found that the signatures of the officers were forged

New Delhi: The Indian apex court on Friday slammed the government for not cancelling the licence of Reliance Infocomm for illegally tapping the telephone of politician Amar Singh on the basis of forged orders, reports PTI.

"Why didn't you cancel the licence of the service provider? It's gross negligence. Either service provider was doing deliberately or because of its incompetence on the basis of a letter full of errors.

"There were gross errors in the letter on which the interception was done. Government should have cancelled the licence of the service provider per se," a bench comprising Justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly said.

The Reliance Infocomm company has been with the group headed by Anil Ambani after the split between the Ambani brothers in July 2005.

"That was in 2005, now it is 2011 and (the) service provider has been allowed to continue with its business. The government has not taken any action so far. It is a serious matter and why action has not been taken against the service provider," the SC bench said.

The remarks of the bench came as Reliance Infocomm had intercepted Mr Singh's telephone between 22nd October and 21st December 2005, on the basis of two letters of the "competent authority" which had several grammatical errors and subsequently it was found that the signatures of officers were forged.

"The letters were coming from the senior police officer and Home Secretary, the senior IAS officer. The whole content should have been examined for public safety. It was such a serious matter. This type of order has been acted upon by the service provider. The citizen of this country has no safety. They are subjected to interception by unscrupulous service providers," the bench said.

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Spectrum saga: Reliance ADAG says CBI examined group officials

Following a Supreme Court directive, the CBI is probing telecom companies and their officials with regard to various matters that happened during 2001-08

New Delhi: The Anil Ambani group said on Friday that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has examined some of its officials as part of the ongoing probe into various matters relating to telecom companies from 2001 to 2008, reports PTI.

Following a Supreme Court directive, the CBI is probing telecom companies and their officials with regard to various matters that happened during 2001-08.

"As part of this process, (the) CBI has also examined a few officials of the Reliance ADA Group (ADAG), and we are fully cooperating with the authorities in this regard," a Reliance ADAG spokesperson said in a statement late on Friday.

The CBI is investigating the 2G spectrum allocation during 2001-09. The government auditor CAG had estimated a revenue loss of up to Rs1.76 lakh crore due to alleged irregularities in the sale of spectrum in 2008 by the telecom ministry under former minister A Raja.

Besides issuing 122 new licences, Mr Raja had also allowed dual technology licences under which Reliance Communications was allocated start-up GSM spectrum at the rate of
Rs1,658 crore for a pan-India licence.

Highlighting the irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in November last year had alleged that Swan Telecom, one of the companies that got the licence, appeared to act as a "front company" on behalf of Reliance Telecom.

The claim had been denied by the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications.

In November, Reliance Communications had said that the firm was in full compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, and there has been no violation of their licence conditions at any stage on account of cross-holdings in excess of 10 percent.

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Kalmadi aide arrested in CWG overlays scam

The CBI had earlier registered a fresh case under various sections of the law for award of contracts for overlays at different venues for Commonwealth Games at exorbitant rates

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today arrested Deorukhkar Shekhar, a close aide of former Commonwealth Games (CWG) Organising Committee chairman Suresh Kalmadi, in Pune in connection with multi-crore rupee overlays scam in the mega sporting event held last year, reports PTI.

The agency had registered a fresh case under various sections of the law for award of contracts for overlays at different venues for Commonwealth Games at exorbitant rates, a CBI spokesperson said here.

Personal assistant of Mr Kalmadi, Mr Shekhar was produced before a court in Pune for a transit remand. Nearly Rs600 crore of contracts relating to the overlays project are under the scanner.

Overlays works included supply of tents, marquees, prefabricated units, portable toilets, containers, security fences, furniture, public display LED boards, floor finishes, material handling equipment, gensets, cabling, UPS, air-conditioners, lighting, civil construction, athletic exercise equipment and grandstands.

The agency had conducted a number of searches in certain premises across the country early in January in connection with the scam in the Games, including those of an officer under Union sports ministry.

The overlays contracts are also under the scanner of the income tax department and the Enforcement Directorate.

The CBI had earlier registered three first information reports (FIRs) for alleged corruption in the projects and events in the run up to the sporting extravaganza.

Two of these cases were in connection with alleged irregularities in the Queen’s Baton Relay.

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