All 2G scam accused seek cover of TRAI report

A CBI court in Delhi today sought the investigating agency's stand on a plea by all 2G scam accused to make a report by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), which said there was no loss to the exchequer in the allocation of 2G spectrum, a part of the 2G spectrum case.

Former telecom minister A Raja All 17 accused in the 2G spectrum case, including former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, have moved the court of Special CBI Judge O P Saini seeking direction to the investigating agency to file the TRAI report.

The TRAI has also told the Central Bureau of Investigation that it was not possible to put a precise value for the 2G spectrum given out between 2001 and 2008, retrospectively, as it involved making assumptions on the then existing market conditions.

The telecom regulator also backed the government's stand on 2G policy saying that it had never recommended auctioning airwaves between 2003 and 2007.

"The grant of licence at Rs1,659 crore was a matter of policy. While revenue generation is no doubt significant, NTP-99 underlines need for providing telecom services at affordable rates. It is against this backdrop that TRAI did not recommend auction methodology nor did it recommend any increase in entry fee for new players," a draft TRAI letter to CBI stated.

The CBI, which is probing the 2G spectrum scam, had asked TRAI to quantify the exact loss to the government owing to allocation of spectrum to all operators. The regulator then appointed an expert committee to value the spectrum, which also failed to quantify the loss.