Minister A. Raja denies role in telecom scam

      Union Telecom Minister A. Raja said here on Friday refuted allegations of wrongdoing and added that the licenses and spectrum had been allocated in conformity with the government's telecom policy. He also denied his role in a telecom spectrum scam. "Licenses were issued in accordance with the law. I have followed what my predecessors have done since 1993. I had no external pressure to deviate from the law," he told media persons here. Raja's reaction came a day after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had searched the offices of the Department of Telecom in connection with alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum to some new companies. According to CBI sources a team of its sleuths conducted a search at Sanchar Bhawan here after registering a case in this connection last evening. Sources added that all records pertaining to the allocation of spectrum to new players in January 2008 would be taken to see if there were irregularities in the process. In 2008, eight new companies were given licenses along with bundled 4.4 MHz spectrum to start mobile services. Earlier, the Chief Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) criticized the Telecom Ministry for doling out spectrum to a very cheap compared to its actual market value. CVC had recommended a CBI probe into the procedures followed for selecting companies for giving 2G spectrum.

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