Wednesday, September 8, 2010


8 Sept 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: New Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas may scuttle the CBI probe his predecessor had ordered into the 2G spectrum allocation scam using a Law Ministry note he secured in his previous avatar as Telecom Secretary that says airwaves allocation is part of policy that can not be questioned.

Advancing the charge for the fourth consecutive day that he was made the CVC as a part of a cover-up of the scam, the Bhartiya Janata Party on Wednesday flashed out a query of the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and response of the Law Ministry that the spectrum allocation is a policy decision of the government which cannot be challenged by the CVC or Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

The speed with which the note was moved from table to table to obtain signatures of Telecom Minister A Raja and Thomas among others in three days from August 10 to 12 and the Law Ministry responding immediately next day on August 13 show the hurry with which the government wants to bury the "mega-Bofors scam" (Maha Bofors Ghotala), BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar asserted, releasing the documents purportedly prepared to shut the CVC and CAG probe.

He wondered if the documents were got ready three weeks ahead of Thomas becoming the CVC to enable him to act on them to shut the probes and rescue Raja from the charge of the massive corruption.

The Law Ministry note agrees with DoT that the spectrum allocation undertaken in 2008 that kicked up a big row with allegations of the exchequer losing Rs 60,000 to Rs 1 lakh crores was part of the New Telecom Policy approved by the government in 1999 and as such CAG or CVC cannot sit in judgement on the policy decisions.

"CAG, CVC and other watchdogs no doubt play a very significant role in any democracy, but they being constitutional/statutory functionaries cannot exceed the role assigned to them under the Constitution or law. Even the Courts refrain to question wisdom of Government in policy matters unless the policy decision is patently arbitrary, discriminatory or mala fide," the Law Ministry said in its 7-page response to DoT, citing various Supreme Court rulings.

Javadekar said if the theory propounded by the Law Ministry at the instance of DoT whose many officers are already in the CBI net is accepted to stop probe into the 2G scam, there should be no surprise if the same yardstick is used to stop any probe into massive rackets of fund misuse in the Commonwealth Games or into the food scam of Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. 

He saw a design behind the first attempt being made to close all probes against the 2G scam and then use the same logic to rule out probes against all mega scandals of the government as he said that appears to be only way out for the government that is not able to curb corruption pervading all around.


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