Saturday, February 25, 2012

2G scam: A Raja in the spectrum of BSNL-WiMax scam

The CBI on Saturday registered a fresh case in connection with alleged irregularities in awarding BSNL’s WiMax franchise to a private firm, considered close to former telecom Minister A Raja, and carried out searches across four cities.CBI registers case in BSNL-WiiMax scam
The federal investigation agency has so far not named Raja as an accused in the new FIR. “A regular case has been registered in this matter against some officials of BSNL and a private firm for causing loss of Rs 535 crore to the national exchequer. Several incriminating documents have been seized during the countrywide raids. Further investigation is on,” CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra told DNA.
Nine teams of CBI officials searched the residences of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) officials and officials of Starnet, the alleged beneficiary which got the franchise, in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Gurgaon, CBI sources said.
The investigation agency is questioning four senior officials of BSNL who were responsible for signing the deal with Starnet.
The eligibility conditions for the contract stipulated that the company should have a turnover of Rs 100 crore and above and Starnet allegedly achieved this by manipulation in balance sheets, the sources said.
Officials claimed that Raja had intervened following which BSNL decided to give WiMax to Starnet on a revenue-sharing model, under which the private operator would be the custodian of 20MHz of spectrum, and BSNL would get less than 30% of the revenue. Five companies, each of which had annual turnover of Rs 100 crore, had reportedly applied for the same franchise, but Starnet bagged the deal.
The anti-corruption watchdog Central Vigilance Commission has also found alleged irregularities in the allotment of franchise to Starnet.
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