Ex-Secretary blows whistle on Raja
Now in the 2G fray another name is added and he is the DoT (Department of Telecommunication) Secretary D S Mathur at the time of processing files for allocation of 2G spectrums that is 2007. But Mathur is not on the corrupt side; he is seen as the whistle blower even though it is too late. Never mind better late than never is the policy Mathur has taken and his statements given to Financial Times would help the government and the relevant authorities to nail A Raja.
The corrupt minister A Raja was predetermined to play foul in the allocation of the 2G spectrum that is clear from the information provided now by Mathur, now retired. If Mathur is telling the truth, then we can conclude that the system of functioning of the government is abruptly wrong. On Mathur’s refusal of signing the files for clearance of the licenses, the minister waited until Mathur retirement scheduled by the end of 2007. The chosen Secretary to fill the vacant place of Mathur was Siddhartha Behuria. Behuria found no issue in the minister’s ill design thoughts or probably he could not resist the lucrative offer of the minister, hence he signed the files without questioning. It would certainly be wrong to prejudge Behuria as corrupt, but the needle of suspicion automatically goes towards him along with the minister A Raja.
The minister’s plan to allocate the licenses to predetermined parties might had been different if the cut-off date of 1 October 2007 was not changed to 25 September 2007, which was also done on the insistence of the minister but not signed by Mathur, the Secretary of DoT but K Sridharan, a member, Technology in Telecom Commission. And the minister played this game when Mathur was away abroad for two days on official assignment. Later, this advancement of cut-off date has been declared illegal by the Delhi High Court and the same has been said by the CAG now.
Mathur has said without any hiccups that he tried to resist the minister from going through the chosen route of his for the allocation of the spectrum, but the minister was adamant to implement his chosen route.
The then member finance Manju Madhavan suggested on the file the auction route for realizing the fair price of spectrum, which the minister discarded. The same member asked for volunteer retirement due to the difference in opinion with the minister.
What Mathur could do he did by refusing to sing the files and instructed the joint secretary to not put-up files before him. That is good, but he could do better by disclosing the minister’s intention then itself rather than waiting so long to do it. Had he done the act then that he has done now, time, money, energy, and a bad image of the government could have been saved?