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Atul Patankar

In RTI reply, DoT says unaware of case in SC

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Atul Patankar

As reported by Himanshi Dhawan at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on Nov 15, 2010

 

NEW DELHI: The department of telecom is playing coy about the 2G spectrum case in Supreme Court. Faced with an RTI petition about the embarrassing case, it batted aside the query taking shelter behind technicalities, and passed the buck to the PMO.

 

On the flip side, the PMO replied — with uncharacteristic promptness — within hours to the very same query stating clearly that PM and his office were aware of the matter relating to allotment of 2G spectrum before the SC.

 

RTI activist S C Agrawal had asked DoT if PM or PMO was aware of the 2G spectrum case, the names of the parties in court, whether Union minister A Raja was party to the case in his official or personal capacity and whether advocates representing him were being paid for by the minister or by a public authority.

 

In a reply dated November 9, the telecom ministry's CPIO R K Gupta said, "It is observed that no specific court case has been mentioned for which the information has been sought." Using the plea that the information sought pertained to the PMO, Gupta said "information can be provided by this office only after the information furnished by PMO".

 

Significantly, PMO in its reply dated the same day said, "The PM/PMO are aware that the matter relating to allotment of 2G spectrum is before the SC." The response from telecom department comes at a time when a CAG report submitted recently estimated that the public exchequer incurred a revenue loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

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