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A Brief Study on India’s 2-Generation Spectrum Scam

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A Brief Study on India’s 2-Generation Spectrum Scam.

Introduction

India has emerged as the one of the most promising development country to the world both in terms of science and technology. Technology played a vital part in the development of India. India was one of those countries who has a widespread base for telecommunication companies. India’s telecommunication market is a chief contributor to the Indian economy. The total net worth of the Indian telecommunication market is expected to be $37 billion dollar by the end of the year 2017. Reports also suggests that India is expected to have over 180 million smartphones by 2019. With the widespread usage of mobile phones the Indian telecommunication market is most likely to be worth over $103.9 billion by the year 2020.

But when there is market which is worth over billions of dollar, it is quite expected that there might be some kind of activities which are illegal in nature. Activities which result in profit to few or a group of people and losses to masses or a countries economy. Precisely speaking the Indian telecommunication market was rocked when the reports of a possible scam was surfaced by the Central Bureau Of investigation(CBI). The scam was called 2nd Generation Spectrum Scam( popularly known as 2G- scam).

What is a Scam?

A scam can be defined as a fraudulent act that is performed or carried out by a group of people who hold a influential position in an organization. With the power of their position, they carry out activity which seem to be legal according to their point of view, but is illegal according to the government or the policies set up by the organization. All this is done for their personal benefit. This type of activity which results in profit for a bunch of people and losses to masses is known as a Scam. After the widespread usage of internet, scams have become more common. The most of the common scams which were reported by large amount of people, are listed below:-

  • Prizes and lotteries:- The customer was lured by a group of frauds that they have won a huge of amount of cash, and require to share their bank details. Large amount of people were affected by this type of scam.
  • Email Scams:- Here the customers received mails, where they were asked for their bank account details, the fraudsters acted in the name of the bank.
  • .Investment Scams:- the fraudsters lured the customer’s by promising them a huge amount of returns or profits on a small amount of investment.
  • Employment Scam: People who are looking for a employment are targeted in this scheme, the fraudster acts as a possible employer and asks for minimum amount of money as a registration fee later they flew away with the large sum of money.
  • Telemarketing Scam:- telemarketing is the most widespread scheme used in scams, the customers are lured with offers that create a interest in the customer and try to extract money from them in the form of registration fees or processing fee etc.

What was the 2G Spectrum Scam.

The Indian 2G spectrum scam as a disaster for the Indian telecom sector, this scam involved many of the government officials who worked for the telecommunication ministry and politicians of the most influential and powerful political party the ‘INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS’. The entire 2G spectrum scam was founded on two main blocks which are specified below.

  • Selling of the Spectrum License:  The telecommunication ministry had granted a total of 122 licenses to the telecommunication firms who had applied for the license. While the allocation of license was being done the government of India had fixed a price for each license which was to be strictly followed and transparency was to be maintained while the transactions were being done. But the same was not followed the license was sold at a lower price or the firms were undercharged by the department of telecommunication, the firms who maintained close relationship with the telecommunication ministry was greatly benefitted. This was one of the main causes of the 2G scam.
  • Extension of the Cut-off date: The 2nd illegal activity which was carried out by the ministry of the telecommunication was the extension of the dates. The actual cut-off date for the application for obtaining a license was 25th September, later the department of telecommunication had revised the cut-off date to 1st , but filing an application on the cut off date proved to be very advantageous for some firm. As the department of telecommunication had also specified clause in the Government Order(GO) that the telecommunication firms filing the application between 3:30-4:30 P.M, a license would be allocated to them without any doubt, in other words it can be stated that this firm actually got their license without going under scrutiny by the department of telecommunication. Almost INR30Crores($20 million) was given to then telecommunication minister A. Raja(One of the main accused) just for the sole purpose to extend the date, so that firms who were close aide to the accused could easily obtain the license.

Main Accused who were involved in the 2G scam:

The entire 2G- scam was a perfect white collar crime, where not even a single accused who was involved in the scam was a thief or a burglar. But all those who involved in the scam was top qualified politician, Bureaucrats and executive. With the combined working of all this people who sat behind desk and committed the perfect crime.

The list of the accused involved in the case is quite long and is divided into three separate section depending upon their profession, position in the organization.

Politician: There were two politicians who played a vital role in committing the crime. As the judgment is still pending with the court of law they are still considered accused. Their names are listed below:-

  • A. Raja (Telecommunication Minister for the years 2007 and 2009).
  • M. K. Kanimozhi( An influential politician and Member of parliament).

Bureaucrat:- A bureaucrat is a government official, who works for the government and holds important portfolios which represent the Government at an international level. Similarly, in the entire scam there were two bureaucrats whose involvement was significant. Their names are listed below;-

  • Siddharth Behura (Telecom Secretary).

  • RK Chandolia (Secretary to the main accused).

Executive: An executive is a person who indulges in to day to day operations for an organization. There was  a huge and significant involvement of a dozen of executive who helped various firms with getting the license. The list of the executives involved in the 2G scam are listed below.

  • Sanjay Chandra
  • Gautam Doshi
  • Hari Nair
  • Surendra Pipara
  • Vinod Goenka
  • Shahid Balwa
  • Asif Balwa
  • Rajiv Agarwal
  • Sharath Kumar
  • Ravi Ruia
  • Anshuman Ruia
  • Vikas Saraf
  • IP Khaitan
  • Kiran Khaitan
  • Karim Morani

Role of A. Raja in 2G Scam

Andhimuthi Raja is an active political leader. He bacme the cabinet minister for the communication and information technology in the year May 2007. Raja was declared the main accused in the 2G scam by controller and audit general(CAG). Allegation for selling of 2G spectrum at a price which was very cheap, the price which he sold the spectrum was fixed in 2001 and was implemented in 2008. The Central Bureau and Investigation department alleged that A.Raja received a bribe of over INR30 Billion($450 million), the bribe was paid to Raja for the sole purpose of extension of the cut off dates for filing of the application. This extension of the deadline indirectly helped the firms who maintained healthy relationship with A. Raja, all this firms were easily issued the licenses.

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