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2G scam case: CBI refuses to probe Chidambaram's role

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today told the Supreme Court that there is no need to consider investigating Union Home Minister P Chidambaram's role during the 2G Spectrum scam.

The investigating agency was referring to a note from the Finance Ministry that finds Chidambaram did not act rigorously enough as Finance Minister in 2008 to ensure that valuable spectrum was sold at fair prices to companies.

It may be recalled that Chidambaram came under fire after a 14-page note, prepared by a senior bureaucrat in the Finance Ministry and seen by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, suggested that Chidambaram could have acted more stridently in 2008 on the spectrum pricing issue, when he was the country's Finance Minister.

The March 25 note to the PMO from the Finance Ministry says Chidambaram could have "stuck to the stand" of an auction of the highly valuable spectrum.

The note added: "It may be mentioned that while the UAS licenses were signed between February 27 and March 7, 2008, spectrum allocations were done starting only in April, 2008, almost four months after the LoIs were issued. However, these were not charged (beyond the normal spectrum usage charges) since there was consensus, at the levels of the Ministers concerned, that spectrum beyond the ''start up'' levels only should be charged."

The note came into the public domain under the Right to Information (RTI) Act petition filed by Vivek Garg, a prominent activist.

The telecom scam, one of India's biggest graft cases ever, may have cost 39.57 billion dollars in revenue to the public exchequer as per the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

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