BJP's Pramod Mahajan told 'half-truths' about Vodafone, Airtel, says CBI
In its report to the Law Ministry, CBI also claimed that Mahajan, who was the Telecom Minister during the BJP-led NDA rule, had apparently told "half-truths" to Defence Minister George Fernandes that additional spectrum up to 8 Mhz to cellular operators was assigned only after due coordination with Joint Communication and Electronic Staff (JCES).
The report which was sent to Law Ministry seeking opinion of the Attorney General whether a criminal case was made out against the accused companies, mentions exchange of communication between the then Ministers Mahajan and Fernandes over the issue of grant of additional spectrum and coordination with Defence Services.
In a letter to Mahajan on July 4, 2002, Fernandes had flagged the issue of co-ordination of frequency spectrum with the Defence Services, CBI sources said today.
They said the letter was purportedly received by Mahajan's office after 15 days and by that time additional spectrum had already been allocated to Bharti Cellular and Sterling Cellular (now Vodafone) in Delhi and Hutch in Mumbai.
CBI sources said Fernandes had written that Telecom Ministry had gone ahead by receiving spectrum fees/charges from the new cellular operators without proper coordination on a case-to-case and place to place at many locations.
Mahajan in his reply to Fernandes said frequencies had been assigned only after coordination with the defence services.