New details of the Aircel sale and subsequent 2G spectrum allocation are gracing the headlines today. Every new revelation like the ones below highlight the brazenness of the whole affair.
Counsel said “this gentleman [C. Sivasankaran, promoter of Aircel] was forced to transfer all his shares to the Malaysian company. Only after the transfer took place in March 2006, action was taken on all the applications for licence. The Letter of Intent was issued to the Malaysian company in November 2006 and the licence was granted in December 2006.
On other aspects of the 2G spectrum case, Counsel said that prima facie the CBI had evidence to show that Loop Telecoms was a front company of Essar, which also stood corporate guarantee for Loop when it applied for a State Bank of India loan. The status report noted: “Essar was the group behind Loop but two days before the grant of Unified Access Service Licence (UASL) licence they reduced their stake to approx 2 per cent.
When most of these actions are alleged to have taken place , UPA-1 was still in it''s early precarious years. They had several prickly coalition partners to live with. The position of DMK was significantly stronger than it is today. Scandals as big as that of 2G spectrum allocation were unheard of back then. It is plausible that there was a lack of political will on the part of UPA-1 to rein in it''s partners at that time.
The political landscape looks very different now.Despite all their protestations, none of the mainstream parties seem to be ready for fresh parliamentary elections in the wake of all the corruption scandals. In that sense, UPA-2 should feel secure enough for the time being. For a coalition whose credibility is in tatters, this is a chance at some redemption.There could not have been a better time to pursue these charges vigorously.