New LIVE Course: Learn the Practical Nuances of IPR Drafting by Adv. Gautam Matani. Register Now!
LCI Learning

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn

Share on Email

Share More

Raj Kumar Makkad (Adv P & H High Court Chandigarh)     15 November 2010


This is being written on Saturday morning. When you read the column on Monday, will Spectrum Raja still be king of the telecom ministry? Maybe, maybe not. "I will not resign,' he has said, adding "why should I resign?" Millions of Indians can tell him why, but the one Indian who matters to Raja, a certain gentleman in dark glasses in Chennai whose name suggests infinite kindness, hasn't told him why, so he will shamelessly cling on to his chair.


But perhaps, this time M Karunanidhi might not have any option but to replace him.


However, will the mere removal of Raja be enough? In the Adarsh case, the buck hasn't stopped with Chavan. There's talk of initiating action against the bureaucrats whose clever machinations made the whole scam possible, people like Ramanand Tiwari, then principal secretary for urban development, SS Kshatriya, then general manager of BEST (they seem to have helped transfer spare FSI (floor space index) from the adjoining BEST land to Adarsh), the Mumbai Collector Idzes Kundan and others.


There is also serious talk of demolishing the Adarsh building which will be a fitting thing to do, because it will ensure that all those dreams of making illicit money will lie in a heap of rubble. Similarly, in the Commonwealth Games scandal, it's not just Suresh Kalmadi who had to resign from his Congress party post. Multiple probes are on into every aspect of the Games.


But the Commonwealth Games and Adarsh scams are really tiny compared to the telecom scandal. In its final report on the case, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has said that the loss to the country due to the spectrum scam is Rs1.76 lakh crore.


That's Rs1760000000000. Now you know why long, long ago India invented the zero: we knew that in the coming centuries we would need lots and lots of them. Most of us would have problems comprehending what all those zeroes mean. This may help a bit. Rs1.76 lakh crore is seven times the national health budget, three times the education budget, and bigger than the entire defence budget.


Impressed? You should be. Can there be a bigger scam than this? It has to be the biggest swindle ever in the history of India and anywhere in the world. Yet, Raja and his Boss of Infinite Mercy think they are blameless!


CAG's final report leaves no room for ambiguity. It says the allocation of the 2G (2nd generation) spectrum in January 2008 was flawed in every way. A total of 122 licences were issued to telecom companies for 2G services in different circles in the country. Of these, according to CAG, 85 licences were given to 12 companies inspite of the fact that they did not meet DoT eligibility conditions. But that's a technicality: based on the foreign direct investment (FDI) attracted by the companies which won the licences, the cost of a pan-India licence should have been anywhere between Rs7,442 crore and Rs47,918 crore. Raja issued a pan-India licence for only Rs1,658 crore.


CAG used two different methodologies to assess the loss to the exchequer. One was based on the offer made by foreign telecom major STel in 2007. For 6.2 MHz of 2G spectrum for the 122 licences, its offer added up to Rs65,725 crore against the Rs1,093 crore collected by DoT. Add to that the dual technology rate offered by STel of Rs24,591 crore and you get Rs90,316 crore. The second methodology is too technical to get into.


Raja and his ministry adopted a first-come, first-served policy at earlier rates rather than the auction route taken for 3G, which has shown how very valuable spectrum allocation is. Raja and his cronies may claim that this is hindsight, and that at the time of the 2G allocation they did not have the benefit of the 3G figures. To that we reply with a simple analogy: Suppose you had a very rare Tyeb Mehta painting, one everyone knew was extremely valuable. Would you sell it to the first offer you received? Or would you put it up for auction at Christie's to see how much more the painting would fetch?


I will give you two answers. Answer No 1: You would maximise your income by giving it to the auction house. Answer No 2: You would sell it to the first buyer. This would have a catch: the income here would be your official declared income. But there would be a sizeable amount you would get under the table. Am I insinuating something? Draw your own conclusions.


But is Raja's head enough? If he is sacked, he will lick his wounds, and then flourish in Tamil Nadu politics. Considering the loss he has caused to the nation, he must be probed by the Anti Corruption Bureau, income-tax department, etc, thoroughly. If he has amassed any wealth, he should be made to cough it up. In any case, he should be prosecuted for all its worth.


Even that isn't enough. What about the officials of the telecom ministry? How can they get away scot free? They can't and they shouldn't. From now on, no one should.


 8 Replies


Yes, I fully agree with  raj kumar makkad statement .

In the past years ,if a politician found corrupt ,govt suspend and thereafter nothing happen.This person should be punished so that in future no one can do like this.corrupt politician are 100% honest in corruption.Since Indians majority of them are poor, work very hard for their life and living essentials like food, clothing, shelter, medical expenses and these poor people 90% of Indian population cannot go on wasting their precious time, energy in the Indian Government offices for Rs.0

1 Like

Bhartiya No. 1 (Nationalist)     15 November 2010

Yes, It is true,

He (Raja) not only get exposed, but must be punished heavily, like capital or life term, if found guilty.



previously we said ,Will India Ever Get Independence From britisher ?


Today,Will India Ever Get Independence From Corruption ?

Democratic Indian (n/a)     15 November 2010

Only punishing A. Raja is not going to solve anything. Remove the root cause, the incentive for corruption i.e. the license raj.

Vishwa (translator)     16 November 2010

Respected Makkadji,

Your demand for action against Raja is quite right but you are forgetting that he was brought in by persons like Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh and others who vitally needed DMK support so that they can (mis)govern from the Delhi durbar. The congress leadership is so debased that they are prepared to take the support of one and all, including known corrupt persons like Lalu Yadav, Mulayam Singh, his chief rival Mayavati and scores of other unprincpled thugs. I hasten to add that the BJP was no better when it had the chance to govern. In fact, the ministries are alloted on the basis of which are those likely to bring maximum bribe collections.

Just yesterday, I was reading a statement by Ratan Tata that he was asked to pay Rs 15 crore as bribe for starting an airline company. Now who could have done such a thing, I wonder !


1 Like


I agree with Mr. makkad.  But I want to clarify that the whether there is any collective responsibility in approving the activity of Raja in scam.  If so what will happen all other persons who are in high hand of action in this regard? At the out set every body who indulged  in this scam should be punished by court of law. 

Democratic Indian (n/a)     17 November 2010

Court by itself, cannot punish anybody involved in scam. Court can act only on the evidence provided by the investigating agency. Who is controlling and influencing the investigative agency(CBI)? What was court able to do in Bofors Scam? Who benefited from such investigations carried out by CBI in Bofors?

M.Sheik Mohammed Ali (advocate)     30 November 2010

yes raja must punished

Leave a reply

Your are not logged in . Please login to post replies

Click here to Login / Register