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“All former Telecom Ministers since 1998 will be called for recording evidence”
Shahid Balwa wants to depose before committee, says JPC chief
NEW DELHI: CBI Director A.P. Singh on Tuesday told the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probing into the telecom policies from 1998 to 2009 that in the assessment of the agency, the loss to the exchequer on account of irregularities in grant of 2G spectrum licences was Rs. 31,984 crore.
At a news conference here, JPC chairman P.C. Chacko said that from June 29 the Committee would begin the process of examining the witnesses, and among those who would be called to depose before it included all former Telecom Ministers since 1998, including A. Raja who is now lodged in the Tihar jail.
The JPC Chairman said that on the basis of suggestions made by the members and others, the committee had shortlisted 85 witnesses for recording of evidence.
“The list is tentative and could include more names,” he said
Secretaries of the Departments of Telecom, Law, Finance, Revenue and Corporate Affairs would be asked to appear before the JPC, he said.
“All former Telecom Ministers since 1998 will also be called for recording of evidence,” Mr. Chacko said. On the procedure to be followed in calling Mr. Raja, the JPC Chairman said that the Committee had the powers to summon any person related to the issue.
Mr. Chacko confirmed that Shahid Balwa of DB Realty-Swan Telecom, also behind the bars in connection with the 2G spectrum scam, had written to him expressing his desire to depose before the Committee.
The JPC chief said TRAI Chairman J.S. Sarma, Attorney-General Goolam Vahanvati, and CBI Director A.P. Singh would be among those asked to appear as witnesses before the JPC.
All the former chairmen of the TRAI, former Secretaries of the Department of Telecom, the former Finance Secretary and BSNL Chairman between 1997-98, representatives of 11 firms which benefited in 2008 and 22 private companies, which got advantage due to the 1999 telecom migration policy, will be asked to appear.
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