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Tuesday 25 October 2011

Ministers in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government have grown richer by an average Rs 10 crore since the 2009 general elections!

Ministers in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government have grown richer by an average Rs 10 crore since the 2009 general elections! The exact loss to the state exchequer due to the 2G scam is impossible to be calculated, a Delhi Court today said while giving its green signal to start trial against all the 17 accused in the case.

2G Conspiracy Began After Raja Became Minister: Court

2G: Charges Framed Against Raja and 16 Others

Two G Spectrum Scam Exposure and the most Hyped trial combined EXPOSED Corporate Lobbying and the Crude Cruel faces of LPG Manusmriti Zionist Rule and India incs Governance! Corporate Political NEXUS is the Key of EXCLUSIVE FREE MARKET SENSEX Economy! Global Reistance against Capitalism and Imperialist Corporate GREED, the OCCUPY Wall Street Movement must be seen and RESPONDED! Now the Brahaminical parties and co opted Baffons and Scoundrels are all set to legalise the Corporate Lobbying so that the MONEY Spinning Should Continue! Still the Sensex is Unchallenged and the Prosperity of some TWO Thousand capitalists is defined as Indian GROWTH! SHAME elite Marxists! SHAME Ignorant Ambedkarites!

Ministers in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government have grown richer by an average Rs 10 crore since the 2009 general elections! What about us, the Mulnivasi Bahujan, eighty Percent of the Population?

Planning Commision Poverty Line makes us RICH with just Rs Thirty Two!

The exact loss to the state exchequer due to the 2G scam is impossible to be calculated, a Delhi Court today said while giving its green signal to start trial against all the 17 accused in the case.

2G Conspiracy Began After Raja Became Minister: Court

The conspiracy to allocate 2G spectrum to ineligible telecom operators for illegal graft began after A Raja became Minister for Telecommunication and Information Technology, said a Delhi court today while putting him on trial along with 16 others, including DMK MP Kanimozhi.

"The conspiracy started after accused A Raja became Minister of Communications and IT on May 16 and its physical manifestation started becoming clear in August-September 2007 on receipt of TRAI recommendations dated August 28, 2007," said Special Judge O P Saini who rejected the defence counsels' contention that there was no conspiracy at all.

"...The conspiracy continued till the last tranche of money, Rs 50 crore, was received by Kalaignar TV on August 7, 2009, as illegal gratification," the judge added.

The court said all the accused in the case knew each other from the beginning, much before the plotting began.

"Accused A Raja was the Telecom Minister from DMK party and M/s Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd was allegedly run by its affiliates," the court said.

"The allegations and the evidence on record prima facie suggest that this amount of Rs 200 crore was meant as bribe for accused A Raja in consideration of issuance of Letters of Intents for allocation of Unified Access Services Licence and allocation of spectrum to Swan Telecom, which was ultimately received by Kalaignar TV," it added.

"...The submission made by accused persons that there is no evidence about existence of any criminal conspiracy is contrary to the record," the judge said.

A Delhi court today said their was no need for sanction from the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha's Chairman for prosecution of former Telecom Minister and sitting Lok Sabha member A Raja and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi in 2G spectrum case.

The court said sanction was not required to prosecute them as Raja had abused the official position as minister and not as a Lok Sabha MP and so was the case for Kanimozhi who did not abuse the office as a Rajya Sabha MP.

"I find myself in agreement with special public prosecutor (U U Lalit) that there are no allegations in the charge sheet that either of the two accused (Raja and Kanimozhi) misused or abused the office of Member of Parliament. The allegations against Raja are that he misused/abused the office of Minister of Communication and Information Technology, government of India, in granting UAS (unified access services) licences and allocation of spectrum.

"Similarly, there are no allegations against Kanimozhi that she misused the office of Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha," Special CBI Judge O P Saini said.

Way was today paved for the trial in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case with a special court framing charges against former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and 15 others for offences including criminal breach of trust that entails a maximum punishment of life term.

Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, corporate honchos-Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group's MD Gautam Doshi, Group President Surendra Pipara and Senior Vice President Hari Nair, Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra and Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka--are among the other high-profile accused who will face trial, commencing on November 11.

"I hereby direct that you all be tried by this court for aforesaid charges (alleged by CBI)," Special CBI Judge O P Saini, who dealt with offences under thirteen heads in his order, said in the packed courtroom.

There was a pall of gloom in the courtroom as the accused, their family member and relatives heard the judge pronouncing the order allowing trail under all the penal provisions raised by CBI in its two charge sheets.

With an important milestone reached today in the case, the accused can now move for bail even as early as Monday as the Supreme Court had observed on an earlier occasion that the accused could seek for relief after charges are framed.

They have also said they will approach the High Court against today's order.

The court said there was prima facie evidence that Raja, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura and others conspired to allocate "valuable spectrum", entrusted to them in the capacity of being public servants, to Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd in violation of law to cause wrongful gain to the companies and thereby Section 409 (criminal breach of trust) is invoked against them.

The charges framed under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act also dealt with criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, getting bribe and criminal misconduct by public servant.

The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.

Minutes after the judge pronounced his order, senior advocate Sushil Kumar, representing Raja, objected to certain portions of the order and said "how can the court write, on its own, that too on behalf of the accused that --I plead not guilty and claim trial".

The court offered to rectify the mistake and later Raja, like other accused, also put his signature below the line (written by the judge) which said "I plead not guilty and claim trial."

The court, in its order, discussed the entire sequence of events related to spectrum allocation and attributed "prima facie" culpability of all the accused including Raja.

It said Raja did not pay any heed to the advice of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to think of auctioning the spectrum.

"...The Prime Minister also sent you (Raja) a letter dated November 2, 2007 on this issue and you accused A Raja deliberately and dishonestly did not consider auction or revision of entry fee (of Rs 1658 crore), and gave away licenses/spectrum at same fee which was discovered in 2001...," the court said.

The court said Raja and former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura cheated the Department of Telecom (DoT) in issuing the licenses by using a "forged note of the minister".

"You Behura, Secretary (Telecom), you (Behura) attached a draft press release for approval of you (Raja) and this draft press release contained the manner in which the letters of Intent (LoIs) were planned to be issued to applicants and you (Raja) 'approved' the same and asked you (Behura) to obtain the Solicitor General's opinion ....

"But you (Raja) in conspiracy with You (Behura) subsequently struck out the last para of the press release, which mentioned 'However, if more than one applicant complies with LoI conditions on the same date, the inter-se seniority would be decided by the date of application' and you (Raja) struck out the last para of the draft press release..." the court said.

It said Raja unilaterally decided to change the cut-off date to help Unitech group.

"You (A Raja), in pursuance to the conspiracy and for ensuring better prospects for your favoured companies, cut it short and decided the cutoff date to be October 1, 2007, and a press release was issued to this effect on September 24, 2007... Even though this cutoff date of October 1, had been announced, you (Raja) in conspiracy with other accused, had already taken a view to keep the cut-off date as September 25,...," it said.

The court also referred to alleged manipulations with the first-come-first served policy by Raja and others to extend benefits to Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd.

The court's remark assumes significance in light of divergent views on the exact loss to the exchequer. While CAG pegged the loss at Rs 1.76 lakh crore, the CBI estimated it at Rs 30984 crore and recent TRAI report said no loss was caused due to alleged irregularities in spectrum allocation.

"There are allegations of loss to the state exchequer in the charge sheet also of which rough estimates have been arrived at and that too, in my humble view, rightly as in such situation it is not possible for anyone to calculate the exact amount of loss," special CBI judge O P Saini said.

"Though, the exact amount of pecuniary loss to the exchequer, if it could have been determined, is always better, but in such cases it may not be possible to determine it or to say that any loss has been caused to the exchequer, though it may be apparent that undue pecuniary advantage has been gained by the public servant or private person due to misuse of office or due to corrupt and illegal means."

Denying any relief to the accused, the court said, "Loss or quantification of loss in exact term is not the essential requirement of offence of criminal conspiracy to cheat or to commit criminal misconduct."

Ministers in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government have grown richer by an average Rs 10 crore since the 2009 general elections, says a report by an election watchdog.

Among the ministers who have gained the most in the past two years, Dr S Jagathrakshakan of DMK tops the list with an increase of Rs 64.5 crore - from Rs 5.9 crore in 2009 to Rs 70 crore 2011, according to the analysis by by Association for Democratic Research (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW).

Jagathrakshakan, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, is followed by Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel, who has increased his assets by Rs 42 crore - from Rs 79.8 crore in 2009 to Rs 122 crore in 2011.

Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath of Congress is the third richest minister who saw his assets grow by Rs 26 crore - from Rs 14 crore in 2009 to Rs 41 crores in 2011, the report said.

The watchdog said it has derived the figures after comparing the assets declared during the 2009 general elections, which is available in the Election Commission website, and the 2011 declaration put out in the PMO website.

Percentage wise, the highest increase has been for Jagathrakshakan whose assets have grown by 1,092 per cent in the past two years. He is followed by Panabaka Lakshmi of Congress with a growth of 828 per cent in her assets and Tusharbhai Chaudhary, also Congress, with a growth of 705 per cent in his assets.

As per the analysis, a minister in the present UPA government has assets worth over Rs 10 crore, marking an increase by Rs 3.3 crore since 2009.

"This is in spite of the fact that 19 ministers in their 2011 declarations to PMO have not given the value of several of their movable and immovable assets," said the report.

With assets worth 122 crores, Praful Patel tops the list of richest ministers, while Jagathrakshakan ranked second (with assets worth Rs 70 crore) and Kamal Nath (assets worth Rs 41 crore) is at the third place.

The report, however, said that 15 ministers have shown a decrease in their assets compared to that in 2009.

They include Corporate Affairs Minister M Veerappa Moily, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Petroleum Minister S Jaipal Reddy, Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh and Foreign Minister S M Krishna.

India's slowing economic growth and elevated inflationary pressures will stretch well into the next year, a Reuters poll showed, even though expectations are for some respite in the hawkish central bank's fight against inflation.

A poll of more than 20 economists, surveyed during October 12-18, showed that most slashed their forecasts to well under 8 per cent for next two years, a sign that Asia's third largest economy will be negatively impacted by the prolonged euro zone debt crisis and weakening investment at home.

"The sentiment is pretty negative," said Bhupesh Bhameta at Quant Capital. "What is happening on the global front now impacts India's export competitiveness and investment."

The consensus is now for India to grow at 7.6 per cent in the fiscal year ending March 2012 and 7.9 per cent the following year, markedly lower than the 7.9 per cent and 8.4 per cent predicted in July's poll.

Consensus forecasts for India's economic growth have fallen in each of Reuters quarterly surveys since October 2010.

For the quarter ended June, India's economy grew at 7.7 per cent, its weakest pace in six quarters.

Average annual growth in India is expected to remain below 8.0 per cent at least until the third quarter of 2012, much slower than growth during the same period a year ago.

India's Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said on Wednesday he was disappointed with the country's growth components in the last few months.

"It is evident that India's growth rate in 2011-12 will be less than what we presented in February when I presented the budget," Mukherjee told a news conference. The budget had projected economic growth of around 9 per cent this fiscal year.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised interest rates 12 times in 18 months even as other leading emerging market economies such as Brazil and Indonesia have eased policy to combat the global slowdown.

Economists expect one more hike from the RBI next Tuesday, bringing the repo rate to 8.5 per cent - although they see the central bank relaxing monetary policy by the beginning of the next fiscal year, returning to 8 per cent by September.

The RBI has maintained that taming inflation is its priority even at the expense of a growth slowdown.

The Reuters consensus predicted inflation at 8.8 per cent in the year ending March 2012 before easing to 7.0 per cent the following year, both much higher than the 8.5 per cent and 6.5 per cent forecast in July's poll.

China's economy grew 9.1 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter, its slowest pace in over two years, and Beijing is likely to wait before easing policy as it battles stubbornly high inflation.

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has warned of another financial crisis brewing, as global liquiditybecomes a concern amidst central banks pegging their lending rates at near zero levels, leaving scope for another asset bubble to take down the global financial system.

"There is, thus, incontrovertible evidence that there is yet again a huge under-pricing of risks in the financial system and, therefore, it is not a question of if, but when, the generic asset bubble caused by manifold increases in balance sheets of central banks will burst," said RBI, executive director, VK Sharma in his address in Singapore on 'Identifying Systemic Risks in the Global Markets - Lessons Learnt from the Crisis'. He spoke about what has been done by Asian central bankers in detecting and mitigating risks of future crises similar to the one in 2008-09.

One of the major worries this time around, which did not exist back then, is global liquidity, Sharma said. Balance sheets of major banks have grown by almost three times from pre-2007 levels, while near-zero policy rates have added $4 trillion in incremental central bank liquidity. Sharma mentioned that the US has been keeping excess reserves of about $1.5 trillion with theFederal Reserve rather than lending it to small businesses and households.

"Alongside, non-financial corporations in the US are reportedly sitting on cash and liquid assets worth $2 trillion which they do not know what to do with it. In this background of huge deluge of global liquidity, there are unmistakable signs of asset bubble inflating again in almost a replay of the last global financial crisis." Sharma said.

"In India, we have had remarkable financial stability, not fortuitously, but thanks to pre-emptively and pro-actively delivered prudential measures like increase in risk weights for exposures to commercial real estate, capital market, venture capital funds and systemically important non-deposit accepting NBFCs.

Former Telecom Minister A Raja deliberately gave dual technology benefits to Reliance ADA Group telecom firm and denied it to Tata Groupcompanies by delaying "in-principle approval" for the Unified Access Services (UAS) licenses, a Delhi court today said.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini said Raja had, in conspiracy with other DoT officials, deliberately delayed the sanction for the Tata Group companies, Tata Teleservices and TTML, after giving green signal to Reliance ADA group.

The court said the then minister by referring to the Law Ministry the issue of according dual technology benefits to Tata created an opportunity which made even ineligible firms -- Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless -- senior in the priority list for grant of licenses.

"You (Raja) accorded in-principle approval for the dual technology spectrum to the Reliance Communications Ltd, HFCL Infotel and Shyam Telelinks Ltd ....and when this request of Tata Teleservices Ltd and TTML was put up for in-principle approval to use GSM technology under UAS licence, you (Raja) dishonestly clubbed this issue also with the letter .. being sent to Ministry of Law and Justice for guidance...," it said.

The court said Raja deliberately did not accord approval to telecom companies of Tata group till January 10, 2008, when LOIs for new licences were distributed to other ineligible firms.

It said the deliberate design of Raja led to a situation where Swan Telecom became eligible for lucrative Delhi circle where only one slot for new player was available.

"Unitech Wireless would not have got any license at all and Swan Telecom would not have got UAS license for Delhi service area...," the CBI Judge said while framing charges against 17 accused including Raja in the case.

The theory of "corporate loan" advanced by the Swan Telecom to counter the charges of giving Rs 200 crore as bribe to the DMK-run Kalaignar TV in connection with the 2G spectrum scam was today brushed aside by a Delhi Court which said the allegations are not "imaginary", "absurd" or "unfounded".

Special CBI Judge O P Saini while framing charges against DMK MP Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV Managing Director Sharad Kumar and Swan Telecom in the 2G case, said that there are allegations and evidence regarding transfer of the amount of Rs 200 crore.

"The allegations (of bribe of Rs 200 crore) are not imaginary, absurd or unfounded and, as such, at this stage of the case, shall be taken at their face value. It is purely a question of fact and any observation at this stage may prejudice the parties," the court said.

It rejected the contention of the accused that no one would pay bribe after 16 months of obtaining favour in the form of Unified Access Services (UAS) Licences.

"I do not find any merit in the submissions of the accused, at this stage of the case, that the transaction may be treated as a transaction of loan without any taint of criminality," the judge said.

The court, in its order, noted that the accused persons had said the amount (Rs 200 crore) went from Dynamix Realty Ltd to Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, first with a view to acquire stake, and when that proposition failed, it was decided to convert the amount into inter-corporate deposits. They had said that the same was done and the amount was duly returned subsequently.

Meanwhile, Former Telecom Minister A Raja was today ordered to be put on trial in the 2G case by a Delhi court which said offence of criminal breach of trust, carrying life imprisonment as maximum sentence, is made out against him as he had the dominion over the costly spectrum.

Besides Raja, Special CBI Judge O P Saini framed charges for substantive offence of criminal breach of trust against former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura saying they both were the political and administrative heads of the Department of Telecommunication (DoT).

"I am prima facie satisfied that accused A Raja and Siddhartha Behura, being public servants, that is, political and administrative heads of the DoT respectively, were having dominion over valuable 2G spectrum, which was disposed of by them in violation of law and which resulted into unlawful gain to the accused companies and receipt of bribe of Rs 200 crore by Raja.

"...accordingly charge of conspiracy to commit criminal breach of trust by public servant is also made out against all accused and substantive offence of criminal breach of trust is made out only against Raja and Behura," the judge said.

The judge, however, said Raja's former private secretary R K Chandolia, against whom CBI had sought to invoke additional charge of criminal breach of trust, was only assisting the minister in discharge of his duties.

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