CBI says 2G probe to be over by month-end

This was disclosed by CBI director A P Singh who deposed before the JPC on Tuesday. The agency chief told the panel that the CBI was investigating the spectrum issue in two parts: one, issue of 122 Unified access service licenses in 2008 and second, the irregularities which took place between 2001 and 2007, the investigation of which is still in the preliminary stage.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, JPC chairman P C Chako said the CBI director informed the panel that the number of licences issued were much in excess of the spectrum quantity available.

The director also informed that as per the CBI probe, in the 2G spectrum allocation case, the loss to the exchequer was pegged at Rs 30,984.55 crore. Thisis as against the presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore calculated by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

The meeting was understood to have seen DMK member T R Baalu asking Singh not to take names of Telecom Ministers in his presentation. When Singh mentioned the period when Arun Shourie was the telecom minister, Baalu asked him not to take any names. Sources said Baalu apparently made the observation to pre-empt the CBI chief from naming Maran, who became telecom minister after Shourie.

Maran is in the eye of a storm after allegations that his family-owned Sun TV network received pay-offs from a Malaysian telecom firm surfaced.

Chacko said the JPC has also finalised a list of 85 witnesses who would be asked to be present for recording of evidence in connection with the telecom policies. Secretaries of the Departments of Telecom, Law, Finance, Revenue Corporate Affairs will be asked to appear before the JPC, he said.

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