Saturday, November 20, 2010

2G: Impacts on national security and criminal justice system. SC should ACT now to stem the rot.

nov 20th, 2010

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: kalyan
Date: Sun, Nov 21, 2010 at 7:29 AM
Subject: 2G: Impacts on national security and criminal justice system. SC should ACT now to stem the rot.
To:


2G: Impacts on national security and criminal justice system. 

What the nation should do to get rid  of the corrupt, the looters of nation's wealth.   

SC should ACT now to stem the rot.


Here is an extraordinary interview with Dr. Subramanian Swamy. This scam, which is the largest of its kind in human history should awaken us all to issues of national security and criminal justice system of the nation.

Three notes are appended:

1. Interview with Dr. Swamy on the origins of his petition

2. What happened at Sanchar Bhawan on January 10, 2008

3. Nation's criminal justice system is on trial. What the nation should do, what Hon'ble SC should do

As reminded by Dr. Swamy, the events at Sanchar Bhawan on Jan. 10, 2008 should be etched in the collective conscience of the nation and the justice system forever. Prospective looters were lining up and indulging up in fisticuffs to take advantage of the loot marg thrown open by the Sonia Raj exemplified by A. Raja and his dealings with Nira Radia and power-brokers. There is one power-broker who happens also to be an extra-constitutional prima donna.

In my view, the fountain of corruption in Swarajya Bharatam is exemplified by this bizarre situation of a power above the PM, a power whose sanction PM has to obtain every step of the way. India's wealth looted in 60 years from 1948 is estimated = US $462 Billion (Rs. 20.85 lakh crores).

Is it not time for SC to institute a Fast-Track criminal justice system through a Special Court?

kalyan

Note 1

Took up spectrum issue as it impinges on security: Swamy


B Sivakumar, TNN, Nov 21, 2010, 03.16am IST
CHENNAI: Subramanian Swamy, a Harvard-educated economist, who filed a petition on the spectrum scandal before the Supreme Court, that triggered a campaign to force Union telecom minister A Raja out of office says the spectrum scandal was not only the biggest scam to have taken place in the country, it also impinged on national security. 

Replying to a range of questions on the scam and the upcoming Tamil Nadu elections, Swamy said the scandal has put PM Manmohan Singh in a bind. 

When did you sense a massive scam in the 2G spectrum allocation and what prompted you to seek A Raja's prosecution? 
On January 11, 2008 I received an eyewitness account of what happened in the Sanchar Bhavan (which houses the telecom ministry in New Delhi). 

Who brought the scam to your notice? 
Mostly honest civil servants. 

What made you take up the 2G spectrum issue? Is it a campaign against the DMK or the Congress? 
It is the biggest scam which impinges on national security. 

Did you expect Raja to resign when you took up the issue? 
I was sure that the PM was inclined and my case would help him to. 

Did you expect the Supreme Court to question the Prime Minister on this issue? 
There is no explicit censure. The Prime Minister is in a difficult bind. 

When the investigating agencies were able to update the courts on the progress of the 2G case, why do you think the PMO delayed replying to your petitions? 
I think the Prime Minister was under pressure. 

Union minister Kapil Sibal has said that you are taking up the 2G spectrum issue in the Supreme Court to gain political space and not for justice. 
It is a foolish comment. I have to intervene because the Congress is giving protection to Raja. 

Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi has said he had nothing against a JPC probe. Do you think he is trying to put the onus of responsibility on Raja? 
That is why I insist on high-level security cover for Raja.

http://timesofindia. indiatimes.com/articleshow/ 6962411.cms?prtpage=1

Note 2

What happened at Sanchar Bhawan on January 10, 2008

Friday, Jan 11, 2008, Busines Line

Chaos, drama at DoT office for getting letters of intent

 

Fisticuffs, blows and what not at Sanchar Bhawan


When DoT announced that LIs will be issued at 3.30 p.m., all hell broke loose as the companies made a beeline to the second floor of Sanchar Bhawan where the letter was being issued.

http://www. thehindubusinessline.com/2008/ 01/11/images/2008011152670401. jpg 

The action is on: Representatives of wannabe mobile operators line up in front of Sanchar Bhawan as DoT issued letters of intent to new players in the Capital on Thursday. - Kamal Narang

Thomas K. Thomas

New Delhi, Jan. 10 Telecom industry is so competitive that companies are literally at each other's throat right from the time of taking the licence.

On Thursday it was total pandemonium at Sanchar Bhawan, the office of the Department of Telecom, as representatives of wannabe telecom companies literally got into fist fights and blows in a bid to be the first to get the letter of intent.

After keeping nearly 46 applicants on tenterhooks for almost three months, when DoT on Thursday announced that letters of intent (LIs) will be issued at 3.30 p.m., all hell broke loose as the companies made a beeline to the second floor of Sanchar Bhawan where the letter was being issued.

The clamour was so shrill that a representative of one of the applicants got a hired goon to ensure that it was his company which was the first to enter the gates.

Bollywood stunts

What followed could make Bollywood stunts look pale in comparison as some of the company representatives were physically thrown out of the line by rival applicant company.

To add to the drama, one of the executives on the receiving end even threatened to commit suicide on the spot if he was not allowed to enter the office building.

Some of the companies, whose applications were rejected, then went on an impromptu protest that added to the chaos.

Officials blame DoT

Industry officials present on the location said that DoT had to be blamed for the ruckus as it had announced at 2.45 p.m. through a press release that LIs would be issued between 3.30 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. giving a window of only one hour for the company representatives to collect the letters.

"It is a complete mockery of the processes and systems that have been put in place over the years. The chaos today probably reflects the mood of the telecom industry in general," said a company official present at Sanchar Bhawan.

Others also blamed a lack of clarity on the first come first served policy for allocating spectrum. While some companies are taking the date of application based on which DoT will allocate spectrum, others said that the date of paying entry fee would be taken as the qualifying date.

List of companies

Finally LIs were issued to nine companies. Real estate giant Unitech got LIs for 22 circles, Datacom for 22, BPL and Shyam got 21 LIs, Idea for 9 circles, STel got 6, Spice got only 4 though it had applied for pan India, Swan got 13 and Tata Teleservices got LIs for offering CDMA services in 3 circles.

If all the companies convert the LIs to licences by paying the entry fee, the Government will stand to get in excess of Rs 7,000 crore.

http://www. thehindubusinessline.com/2008/ 01/11/stories/ 2008011152670400.htm

FACT 5: On January 10, 2008, at 2.45 pm, all hell broke loose at Sanchar Bhavan after an announcement was posted on the website of the DoT, stating that letters of intent for issuance of licences bundled with spectrum, would be issued to private companies between 3.30 pm and 4.30 pm on immediate payment of application fees (running into over Rs 1,650 crore in certain cases) by demand draft with supporting documentation. Those who deposited their fees first by even a fraction of a second, were favoured in the infamous first-come-first-served system. In the mad melee, well-heeled CEOs and DoT staffers were bashed up in front of television cameras, before the cops arrived on the scene — late as usual. 

http://www.tehelka.com/story_ main44.asp?filename= Ne150510will_someone.asp

2G scam: Why I filed a PIL against the telecom minister

Last updated on: September 16, 2010 12:36 IST

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta 
On September 13, the Supreme Court issued notices to Telecom Minister A Raja and the CBI following a petition -- filed by two activist groups and senior journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta -- which alleges that the exchequer suffered a loss of Rs 70,000 crore due to the way 2G spectrum was allocated.

Guha Thakurta explains why he filed the petition.

On Monday (September 13), a two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly issued notices to Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology Andimuthu Raja and different agencies of the government of India, such as the Department of Telecommunications, the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate and the Income Tax Department, asking them to respond within ten days to a public interest litigation petition urging the apex court of the country to monitor a CBI investigation into the alleged irregularities in the manner in which second-generation spectrum was allotted to certain mobile telecom companies thereby causing a huge loss to the exchequer.

The three petitioners were 1. A registered society, the Centre for Public Interest Litigation through its general secretary, advocate Prashant Bhushan; 2. Another registered society, Telecom Watchdog, through its secretary Anil Kumar; and 3. the author of this article.

Why did I, an independent journalist with over 33 years of experience in various media -- print, radio, television and documentary cinema -- and an educator, decide to become a petitioner in this case?

First and foremost, I wish to clarify two points. This is the first and only occasion I have become a petitioner in a PIL. Secondly, I am not just a journalist but also a citizen of India who feels very strongly that it is extremely important to curb corruption in high places.

I have been writing about the 2G spectrum scam for some years now.

The first article on the topic that I had written was published in The Economic Times in November 2007, was tentatively titled (by me) 'Stealing Spectrum for a Song' and began: 'Spectrum, or electromagnetic radio frequencies that are used by cellular mobile telecommunication service providers, is a national resource that is currently in acute short supply (especially in cities) and hence, should be expensive. Right? Wrong!'

'Communications Minister A Raja has bent rules and sought to selectively implement recommendations made by telecom experts including those in the Department of Telecommunications and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. In the process, one player stands to gain the most and the likely loss to the exchequer could be as high as Rs 10,000 crore (Rs 100 billion). Unless, that is, the courts and Parliament intervene.'

I was way off the mark as far as the money involved in the scam was concerned. The actual amount is probably seven times higher or even ten times higher. Soon after the article appeared in ET, a legal notice was served on me by Reliance Communications. But that's another story.

Thereafter, over the next few years, I wrote many articles for different publications including the New Indian Express, theHindustan TimesCaravanCurrentRealp olitik and Tehelka. I also spoke on the subject on television channels like NDTV India, Times NOW, Headlines Today, UTV-Bloomberg, among others, and was interviewed on the topic by Newsclick.

I was hardly the only journalist writing on the topic. Many others before me had been writing on the same subject, among whom were J Gopikrishnan (Pioneer), Sunil Jain (Business Standard), Shalini Singh (Times of India), Ravi V Prasad (freelance), among others.

Some of us later addressed a conference of auditors at an institution run by the Comptroller & Auditor General of India.

When Prashant Bhushan asked me if I would have any objections becoming a petitioner in a PIL case that he and other like-minded persons were planning, I instinctively answered in the affirmative though I had never ever had done anything like this before.

Some of my friends told me: "Why are you getting involved in such extraneous activities? You should stick to journalism."

After I signed a vakalatnama that Prashant's colleague Pranav Sachdeva sent me, I forgot all about the petition.

When, on May 25, the Delhi high court dismissed the PIL, the sceptics -- including one of my important sources of information -- remarked: "Didn't I tell you this would happen?"

It was then decided that a special leave petition would be filed in the Supreme Court and to my pleasant surprise, on September 13, the apex court responded by serving a notice on Telecom Minister A Raja and various wings of the Union government.

Over the next 48 hours, I received many phone calls and messages supporting the initiative. But this is no personal achievement. Scores of people, among them whistle-blowers -- some of them working at great risk to their personal security -- deserve a lot of credit.

Flashback: Date and time: January 10, 2008. 2.45 pm. Venue: Sanchar Bhavan in central Delhi. The DoT posts an announcement on its Web site saying letters of intent for telecom licences with spectrum would be issued between 3.30 pm and 4.30 pm that afternoon and that application fees (worth over Rs 1,000 crore or Rs 10 billion) would have to be paid immediately by demand draft together with voluminous supporting documentation.

Licences are later given to those who deposited their fees first by even a fraction of a second -- using the infamous 'first-come-first-served' system used to sell cinema tickets.

In the mad melee, a few well-heeled CEOs are manhandled (some of the action is captured on television). A couple of DoT staffers are bashed up before the cops turn up, late as usual!

Question: Was this the best way to allot a scarce national resource like spectrum, Mr Raja?

Fast-forward: Date: May 24, 2010. Venue: Vigyan Bhavan. The occasion: A press conference by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He quotes Mr Raja's justification for undervaluing 2G spectrum in his interview to The Hindu on May 22 and quickly adds that if the CBI, which is investigating the allegations against Raja, comes up with incriminating evidence, the government would take action.

'I would like to say that our government has been very clear right from the beginning that corruption is a problem,' the prime minister remarks, adding, 'if I come to know that there is any involvement at any level in corruption, we will take action.'

The synopsis of the petition accepted by the Supreme Court, in part, reads: 'The petitioners... filed a petition seeking a thorough court monitored investigation into the 2G spectrum allocation scam that has caused the national exchequer an estimated Rs 70,000 crore (Rs 700 billion) and huge national outrage. Simply in terms of the scale of money that has been swindled, it is easily the biggest scam that this country has ever seen.'

'A sitting Union Cabinet minister has been found to be directly involved and tapes of his conversations with corporate middlemen are available. The entire investigation being carried out by the CBI has been scuttled to protect vested political interests, corporate and other middlemen involved. That is why to ensure people's right to life in a corruption-free environment and to enforce the rule of law, the petitioners had moved the Delhi High Court.'

'The petitioners had sought a thorough investigation by a court-appointed SIT (Special Investigating Team), or in the alternative, the investigation which is being carried out by the CBI to be court monitored.'

Rediff.com has reproduced the full text of the PIL petition. 

http://business.rediff.com/ report/2010/sep/14/scam-2g- text-of-the-special-leave- petition.htm


Note 3


National Criminal justice system on trial.

What the nation should do, what Hon'ble SC should do.

SC should act now. SC should direct the constitution of a Commission of Inquiry and Prosecution on 2G scam. This Commission should be the nucleus of a National Anti-Corruption Commission on the lines of the Commission in Hongkong.

The nation owes a deep debt of gratitude to Dr. Subramanian Swamy, for highlighting the state of the criminal justice system of the country which has reached such low depths that national security has been compromised. 

Something is rotten in the state of Hindusthan and the rot seems to have engulfed the criminal justice system.

Kudos to Dr. Swamy for seeking to exercise the rights of a citizen as detailed under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

I think the issue should be seen by the Hon'ble SC in the broader perspective of the intention of the makers of the Constitution when they put in place a Criminal Justice System and related procedures to achieve justice against criminal acts.

The intention is clearly drawn from our dharmashastras and the supremacy of dharma even though the wordings in the Constitution and Acts of Parliament might have drawn inspiration from Roman jurisprudence. Criminal Procedure Code 1898 which followed the Indian Penal Code of 1860 is an Anglo-Hindu Law amalgam. The Indian Penal Code, 1860, the Criminal Procedure Code, 1872, and the Civil Procedure Code, 1909 were part of the system of jurisprudence introduced during the colonial regime. The Indian Penal Code was later reproduced in most other British colonies—and to date, many of these laws are still in places as far apart as SingaporeSri Lanka,Nigeria, and Zimbabwe

It is time to turn it to safeguard the security of the nation which is imperilled by the induction of an extra-constitutional authority at the helm of the state affairs.

I think it is Macaulay's Criminal Procedure Code that is on trial in a state which seems to undermine every procedure to turn a blind eye to the corrupt acts of an extra-constitutional authority of an individual.

I don't know what remedies and what directions from the Hon'ble SC will come, in the context of Dr. Swamy's  petition which was originally limited to getting sanction from PM to prosecute a Minister. Maybe others holding offices of profit in the Centre such as Sonia Gandhi as Chairperson of National Advisory Council and as MP will get impleaded as the prosecution unravels.

Maybe, the present procedure of lodging FIRs has become a mockery of justice. 

Shouldn't the Hon'ble SC be asked to direct the Union of India represented by the PM to provide to the SC immediately based on the Govt.'s intelligence sources:
  • names of persons who have received corruption kick-backs and/or who can be reasonably be construed to have been beneficiaries of such kick-backs
  • money trails for the kick-backs
The Nira Radia tapes and Enforcement Directorate's order for taping conversations of this woman should certainly have revealed many leads related to these names of people involved and money trails. Shouldn't the Hon'ble SC ask Union of India represented by PM to come clean without holding back info from the court and to reveal all the info. they possess related to the scam detailed in CAG's report?

In the context of RTI Act, the citizen filing a prosecution case has the right to ask for information from the Centre to conduct the prosecution proceedings. So, Hon'ble SC should also be privy to such information which is being provided under the RTI Act and should demand all details related not only to delay in giving sanction to prosecute to an individual who has made a request under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The details to be asked for by the Court should be names of people and money-trails and direct the Centre to constitute a Special Fast-track Criminal Inquiry Commission-cum-Court to call all suspects already named on Enforcement Directorate tapes. 

Alternatively, SC can order the Constitution of a Commission of Inquiry and Prosecution since GOI will NOT clearly initiate steps for such a Commission.

Since the RTI Act has been enacted, there has to be a sea-change in the way the criminal justice system works in the state. Every citizen is a potential prosecutor and should be given the authority and tools to conduct effective prosecution. Police and its avatars such as CBI or CVC have apparently become only bureaucratic appendages to the executive which is managing the affairs of a corrupt state. Executive in India has become the Corruption Central headed by an extra-constitutional prima donna following the procedures of the Italian dons (pace case-laws related to Al Capone).

The 2G scam should become the test case to clean up the criminal justice system NOW, without any further delay. SC has to seize the moment. 

Making a radical departure from the FIR system, let SC treat Dr. Swamy's and Mr. Thakurtha's petitions as FIR and constitute a Special Fast-Track Court with prosecution being monitored under SC direction since the people have lost faith in institutions such as CVC or CBI or other investigating agencies paying obedience to the executive branch and an extra-constitutional authority. 

This trial court for 2G scam can expand the institution into a National Anti-Corruption Commission accessible to all citizens to rid the state of corruption.

Media Release

(Hyderabad, 18/11/2010)

 

Dr. JP urges PM to emulate HongKong in fighting corruption

 

 

Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today urged Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to enact a comprehensive anti-corruptionlaw and create an independent anti-corruption commission (IACC) as inHong Kong. The IACC, formed in  in Hong Kong in 1974, reducedcorruption within a few years.


In a letter to the Prime Minister which he shared with members of Parliament, Dr. JP pointed that since there is palpable support among the public and political parties for rooting out corruption, he should create mechanisms to enforce public integrity and end corruption.


"Honesty is not merely a moral imperative; it is an economic necessity to accelerate and sustain high growth rates and eliminate poverty."

On the colossal corruption in the allocation of 2G spectrum, Dr. JP said that apart from punishing culprits, the Government should undo the damage caused to the public exchequer and prevent future acts of suchcorruption. 

 

He wanted the Prime Minister to revoke the tainted 2G spectrum allocations under Section 23 and 24 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 so that corporates which colluded with bribe takers and caused a colossal loss to the exchequer do not benefit from corruption. He drew the Prime Minister's attention to the Government of India canceling purchase of 197 helicopters worth $600 million from Eurocopter following a Central Vigilance Commission report in 1997.

 

Dr. JP suggested imposition of a Windfall Profit Tax on all licensees who sold the spectrum or equity to ensure that the public exchequer retains abnormal profits made out of a vital public resource. He proposed enactment of a law to make all contracts involving corruption, or loss to the exchequer void and unenforceable and another to impose a civil penalty of five times the loss sustained by the exchequer in any public procurement or transfer of natural resource.

 

 

For Lok Satta Party


1 comments:

OverTheHill said...

"Dr. JP urges PM to emulate HongKong in fighting corruption." ...

This is too surreal to understand. The Turbaned One sat on his hands over a megascam for years and here are these people asking him to do exactly what he failed to do. And he has to do it through the agency of a corrupt amoral party whose standard bearer he is - it's like leaving the fox in charge of the chicken coop.
Do these self-styled 'reformers' even think before they make these grand pronouncements? If anything they must ask the aging academic to step down on grounds of sheer incompetence.