News / Asia

India's Supreme Court to Oversee Telecom Corruption Inquiry

Communist Party of India (Marxist) activists raise slogans at a protest against inapt handling by the central government of alleged corruption charges pertaining to the Commonwealth Games, the Adarsh Society land scam and the 2-G telecom scam, in New Delh
Communist Party of India (Marxist) activists raise slogans at a protest against inapt handling by the central government of alleged corruption charges pertaining to the Commonwealth Games, the Adarsh Society land scam and the 2-G telecom scam, in New Delh

India's Supreme Court will oversee an investigation into a telecom corruption scandal that has turned into a major political headache for the government. The government has been accused of dragging its feet on the investigation.

The Supreme Court has asked the federal investigative agency to give an update by February on the progress it makes in an ongoing probe into allegations that the telecommunication ministry sold telecom spectrum at below market prices in 2008.

The court also asked the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI to name people suspected of corruption in the scandal, which auditors say could have caused losses of up to $39 billion to government revenues.  

Investigators are probing whether kickbacks were involved in the granting of telecom licenses at rock-bottom prices to companies ineligible to apply for them. There are reports these licenses were later sold off to foreign firms for huge profits in the world's fastest growing mobile market.

The Supreme Court wants investigators to probe sale of all telecom licenses since 2001

India's Law Minister Veerappa Moily, hoped that the decision of the Supreme Court to monitor the probe by the CBI will satisfy the political opposition, which has been demanding a parliamentary probe.

"We have nothing to hide," said Moily. "That is why we wanted the Supreme Court to monitor the CBI investigation."

The Supreme Court's decision to oversee the inquiry came weeks after it made several critical observations about the government's handling of the investigation. The most embarrassing involved questions raised by the Court over why the prime minister delayed a decision for over a year on whether to investigate the former telecommunication minister for his role in the scandal. The minister has already resigned.

Political analysts say the scandal has tarnished the reputation of the government under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and raised questions over its commitment to fight corruption.

But the spokesman of the ruling Congress Party, Abhishek Manu Singhvi said the Court-monitored investigation should satisfy skeptics.

"The resolve to go after corruption and misconduct is clear," said Singvi. "It is unequivocal, it is consistent, it is in the right direction, and with the Supreme Court monitoring it in the manner it is doing nobody needs to have the slightest doubt or apprehension."

The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has welcomed the Supreme Court's decision to monitor the probe. But the party says it stands firm in its demands for a cross party probe, and has threatened to block parliament when it meets in February if the government does not agree. Opposition parties did not allow parliament to function for a month when it met recently.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid