2G Scam: Shourie questioned by CBI

New Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) Former Telecom minister ArunShourie was today questioned by the CBI during which healleged that his successor Dayanidhi Maran had tweaked theTRAI guidelines in 2005 to benefit some operators.

Emerging after a three-hour long question session,Shourie told reporters that he had cited several instances tothe investigating officers of alleged irregularities duringMaran''s tenure before A Raja took over as Telecom minister in2007.

"Maran was the Minister. What is Raja being accused of?Giving these 122 licenses without spectrum, when there is nospectrum with the Government. But it was in Maran''s time thatone sentence was put into the guidelines that there shall beno cap on the number of operators in a circle," he said.

Shourie said such a change could only come as a TelecomRegulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommendation.

"This (change) comes in the guidelines of 2005 whereasthe TRAI did not recommend it till 2007. So by what horoscopeunder Maran was it decided that yes we can anticipate thisrecommedation before two years and start. That is how someoperations were planned that could not go through and Rajaacted on them," he quipped.

He also advised Raja to turn approver for the agency andspill the beans about the beneficiaries of this scam.

Shourie, who reached the CBI headquarters in themorning, was questioned along with the then Department ofTelecom Secretary Vinod Vaish.

He said he had requested the presence of Vaish and someother officials because of their technical knowledge about theissue.

"I told them (the investigators) what were thecircumstances and how individual decisions (regarding spectrumallocation) were taken that time (during his tenure) and thatthere was not a slightest departure from TRAI recommendations.

There was not a slightest departure from the Cabinetdecisions," Shourie said.

Handing over a 50-page note prepared by him on variousissues relating to 2G-spectrum allocation policy appearing inthe media, Shourie said he was ready to appear again if calledby the agency.

The eminent journalist said he informed the CBI that TRAIdid not do anything "surreptitiously" during his tenure andall the decisions were taken after open consultations.

"Not one of the 28 licenses was given for any lucrativearea. They were given for the areas in which nobody was going.

The objective of the Government was that in the North east,Bihar, Eastern UP and Jammu and Kashmir, mobile telephonyshould be extended and we achieved that," he said. (More) PTIABS

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