Friday, February 03, 2012

5 Indian Bureaucrats Around 2G Spectrum: Good, Bad and Ugly...

A DAY after the Supreme Court gave a monumental verdict and cancelled all 122 telecom licenses awarded by A Raja and his team, BoI ( has identified 5 bureaucrats who played as hero, villain and supporting roles in this multi-billion dollar telecom saga.
Manju Madhavan: The Officer Who Flagged the 2G Scam
In this maze of billion dollar 2G spectrum scam, here is a bureaucrat who remained an unsung hero. She is 1971 batch Indian Revenue Service officer Manju Madhavan who reportedly flagged the 2G scam. Known to be an upright officer Ms Madhavan resigned as Member (Finance), department of telecom after getting upset with her minister A Raja. A doctorate in psychology, Ms Madhavan attended a programme on fiscal de-centralization and financial management of regional and local governments at Harvard University, and then a management development programme at IIM, Bangalore.
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Vinod Rai: The Man Who Scripted a Disaster for UPA-II
Had this 1972 batch retired IAS not given a controversial tag of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the 2G spectrum scam, it would have probably been kept under the wraps. But Vinod Rai, who was incidentally appointed as Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) just a day before 2G licences were announced, decided to take on everyone to unravel the 2G truth. And he continued his crusade despite being a target at many forums including JPC. Rai in another report even dragged the PMO for the Commonwealth Games fiasco.

Siddharth Behura: Signatory of a Monumental Mistake?
Siddharth Behura, who as the telecom secretary signed the controversial 2G licenses announced on January 8, 2008, was incidentally a key officer responsible for the liberalization of the industrial sector in India way back in 1991. But today, he is infamous for his alleged role in doling out licences to ineligible telecom companies which the Supreme Court finally struck down. The 1973 batch UP cadre IAS who was with environment ministry between 2005 and 2007 when A Raja was the environment minister, said he had no option but to implement the minister’s decision. “The relationship between the minister and secretary is a very tenuous one”, Behura had earlier told a daily. But he was arrested in February 2011, and had remained in Tihar jail for nearly one year.

RK Chandolia: A Private Affair
RK Chandolia, a 1984 batch Indian Economic Service officer, is one of many officers of elite IAS and allied services of Indian administration who have served as private secretaries to ministers. Nothing unusual about it considering ministers always handpick one of their trusted officers as private secretaries. But he came under the CBI net after his boss A Raja who is still languishing at Tihar jail, became the main accused in the 2G scam. Chandolia may now be out in bail, but the case against him is still on.

Shyamal Ghosh: A Shocker After 9 Years
Nine years after he retired as telecom secretary, 1965 batch Gujarat cadre IAS Shyamal Ghosh woke up in one fine morning in November last year to find CBI sleuths knocking at his home in New Delhi. The reason? The investigating agency wanted to raid the residence of Ghosh who was telecom secretary when BJP leader Pramod Mahajan was the minister. The CBI believes that the policy of allotting airwaves in 2002 led to the loss of Rs 508 crore to the exchequer. There were raids in offices of telecom majors, Airtel and Vodafone, which are the supposed beneficiaries of NDA’s telecom policies.

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