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FRONT PAGE | Wednesday, May 6, 2009 | Email | Print |

Milking BSNL Max-imum is in Raja’s spectrum

J Gopikrishnan | New Delhi

After the 2G spectrum allocation, the Telecom Ministry headed by Union Minister A Raja is embroiled in yet another controversy, this time over BSNL’s WiMax franchise.

While top officials of the public sector firm say nothing has yet been finalised, The Pioneer has learnt that the technical committee has short-listed six companies, of which five have been floated by Raja’s confidant Sanjay Kapoor and are filled with the latter’s relatives.

Not just that, all the five firms were registered on a single date, having the same notary, same auditor, same witnesses and even the same e-mail id. So much so that even the last annual general body meeting they held were on the same day. The sixth company is a BPO, owned by a former MP and Congress leader from Tamil Nadu.

The five firms are: WiExpert Communications, SV Telecom Systems, Digitelco Communications, Spectrus Communications and Technotial Infoways.

This reporter visited the ‘registered office addresses’ of these five companies and found they were residences with no display of even the firms’ name boards. These companies had applied for 14 circles across the country. These companies were incorporated on November 5, 2007.

Sanjay Kapoor is said to be a regular visitor at the Sanchar Bhavan and Electronics Niketan, the two main offices of the Ministry. He frequented the Environment Ministry when Raja was Environment Minister. Kapoor’s companies are technically supported by WiTribe, a Qatar-based telecom firm. WiTribe is a WiMax operator in Pakistan.

While Sanjay Kapoor was not available on phone despite repeated attempts, The Pioneer got in touch with his driver Vijay Pal who also happens to be a director of one of the five firms. According to Pal and documents available with The Pioneer, WiExpert’s Managing Director is Anamika Kapoor, Sanjay's wife. Her mother, Sneh Prabha Arora, is a director of the company.

SV Telecom’s head is Anamika’s father Surendra Mohan Arora. The firm shares its registered office with WiExpert at Flat Number 8 in S-569 in Greater Kailash-II.

Satish Kapoor heads Spectrus Communication and the registered address of the company is Surendra Mohan Arora’s residence at Paschimi Marg in Vikaspuri, while Digitelco Communications, headed by Satish Kapoor’s wife Kamini Kapoor, is registered at their residential address in Vikaspuri. Driver Vijay Pal is also a director in Digitelco.

The fifth company, Technotial Infoways, is led by Sunita Kapoor, who is Sanjay Kapoor's mother, according to Pal. This firm is registered at her residential address in Samrat Apartments in Vasundhara Enclave.

The Pioneer had made several attempts to contact Sanjay Kapoor, who floated all these companies, but he did not respond to them. Queries sent to his email id, provided as the contact address of all the five companies in the records of Registrar of Companies of Delhi, went unanswered.

The Pioneer on March 5, reported about another of Raja’s close associate’s company participating in the WiMax franchise allotment by the BSNL. Chennai-based Wellcom Communications owned by T Silvarajoo had applied for six circles of BSNL. Silvarajoo is from Raja’s constituency Peramballur in Tamil Nadu and considered close to the Minister.

After The Pioneer’s exposé, the BSNL refrained from short-listing Wellcom. “After the relation between the Minister and Wellcom Communications was exposed, Raja asked BSNL chief Kuldeep Goyal to re-work the entire plan of operations,” revealed a highly placed official of the BSNL. Along with Wellcom, two established names, Wipro and Cisco, too, were cut out from the shortlist.

The sixth company shortlisted was Bangalore-based Raasi Callnet, owned by C Narasimhan, former MP and Congress leader from Tamil Nadu. Raasi Callnet is a BPO company and in the business for the past eight years. Narasimhan was a Tamil Manila Congress MP in 1996, representing Krishnagiri constituency.

Meanwhile, the BSNL granted WiMax franchisee in January to Soma Networks in the three States earning most revenue — Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh — without any tender or Expression of Interest. Soma Networks is a US-based company floated by Indians. Former Planning Commission member MS Pathak, son of former Vice-President of India GS Pathak, is the chairman of Soma Networks. Yatish Pathak, MS Pathak’s son, is the Chief Executive Officer of the firm. WiMax Forum, an association of WiMax operators, had complained to the Prime Minister over the unilateral allotment of franchisee to Soma Networks.

WiMax is a high-speed Internet service that provides connectivity in mobiles and laptops. The BSNL decided to invite franchisees from private players for providing WiMax services. In what raised suspicions, it invited Expression of Interest a few months ago and cancelled and re-opened the procedure several times. Highly placed officials of the BSNL and Telecom disclosed to The Pioneer that, by this procedure, the BSNL would get 25 per cent of the revenue while 75 per cent will go to the private player. The annual revenue from WiMax is expected to be Rs 900 crore, according to BSNL estimates. A total of 11 companies responded to BSNL’s WiMax franchisee allotment.

The main advantage of the WiMax franchisee of the BSNL is control over 20 MHz spectrum without any investment. “They can use BSNL’s 50,000 communication towers, 20,000 office premises and two million kilometres of fibre network across the country, which are the exclusive property of the nation, free of cost. The role of shell/benami companies is to sell the stakes at whopping prices to foreign companies. It will be like Swan and Unitech deals, offloading the shares to huge values. This is the profit of WiMax business,” a Telecom official said.

BSNL Chairman and Managing Director Kuldeep Goyal did not respond to repeated attempts to obtain clarifications.

-- The above photo shows, Sanjay Kapoor (right), the man who floated five companies which are shortlisted for BSNL’s WiMax allotment, with Telecom Minister A Raja at his birthday celebration on October 26, 2008, at the Minister’s official residence in New Delhi

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Raja and his corporations
By sohan on 7/13/2009 7:06:53 PM

To float multiple corporations is no crime. The competitors should file appeals if they have been excluded illegally.

Rejection of lower cost tenders is not necessarily irregular or improper. Important is to ensure the corporation submitting tenders have right capabilities to fulfill the terms of the contract.

Milking BSNL Max-imum is in Raja’s spectrum
By ESS Manian on 7/10/2009 10:00:54 PM

This is atrocious! BRAVO!! PIONEER - KEEP UP the good work. The DMK's Karunanidhi and Murasoli Maaran are reported to have amassed about R.s 60,000 Crores when Maaran was Industries minister during the NDA government. The NDA governement sent millions of precious foreign exchange dollars when MAaran was seeking treatment in Houston (USA) hospital for nearly 10 months. In any other coutnry the Minister woudl have been asked to resign. No Not in the incredible corrupt India.

Congrats to Pioneer
By Alok Mehta on 6/28/2009 1:23:35 PM

Congrats to Pioneer for crusading agaisnt the daylight robbery in the Telecom sector led by unscruplous minister Raja, while other media and TV Channels keeping criminal silence. Only few people have/had courage to crusade against evils, while others prefer to sing for them or shut eyes..

Opening overs !
By Jitendra Desai on 6/26/2009 4:54:50 PM

Compliments to Pioneer for this expose. BJP with its 116 seats should stop feeling traumatised and ACT! Inside and outside parliament on this and other issues of corruption. If not checked, UPA is capable of indulging in to far greater scams.

Milking BSNL
By tandelmp on 6/21/2009 4:44:55 PM

Expose Raja until he is forced to step down.All India Media Campaign should be started till Raja is forced out.

Incredible corrupt India
By on 6/17/2009 12:22:00 PM

Incredible corrupt India. For comprehensive corruption-in-india info, visit and contribute to "not for profit" website

By amar jit singh on 6/11/2009 11:10:48 PM

Is Pioneer not concerning India ? If you are an Indian,and have proof file a PIL,no other person has that confidence as you people would.

Raja is Karunanidhi
By Vijay Kumar Singh on 6/6/2009 10:38:21 AM

Raja's re-induction shows that - he represents Karunanidhi. The money he looted is for Karunanidhi is now proved. Though got massive majority Congress party become spineless, when Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi pressed for Raja. Jai Ho!

please dont blam as UPA in poer again
By anil nakra on 5/31/2009 5:54:44 PM

please stop pointing fingure on real raja , as upa again in power ,all his "khoon maf" all killing excused by voters . UPA come in power again with more seats so please stop shouting about terrorisom, price rise, power shortage,bad raod.

By Venkat on 5/29/2009 2:21:04 PM

The PM has rewarded Raja with the same portfolio in consideration for the success in the Tamilnadu election.The PM has not come clean on thiis appointment.While he put his foot down on Balu why he has not done in case of Raja.Perhaps the share of the looty has gone to INC as well.
Raja is now very enthusiastic about Spectrum 3 after the success of spectrum 2
Now the truth will never come out This matter will also get buried like the Bofors.

Raja is a puppet
By Alladin on 5/29/2009 11:01:44 AM

DMK has moved their Wi Fi experience in corruption to the center . Sonia and coterie should be benefitting, or else why there is no noise about it from Congress. PM is again a tool in the hands of Sonia. But our country has made some progress in spite of all these. Corruption is a big nexus between all politicians like the golden triangle.These politicians amass money which thy will never spend for generations but deprive India of its fuel for growth.

raja - the minister, but really a king in making money.
By k. venkataraman on 5/27/2009 3:56:17 PM

the priminister must give each ministry for a period of one year to each one of his supporters. thus all the members of ruling party will get equal chance to make money. there should be justice of equality. as for the peoeple are concerned they are happy as far as the ministers make money. if the ministers are rich, the country is rich, and the people are happy, if not rich. happiness is what matters . long live indian members of parliament and let them become richer and richer .

By CHANAKYA SHARMA on 5/25/2009 7:31:07 PM


Looting the Telecom sector
By Anil Gupta on 5/24/2009 7:20:25 PM

Sir, It will be interesting to see whether PM Manmohan Singh yields before the tantrum of DMK and reallocates Telecom Ministry to Raja for further exploits.

Is he going to become minister again?
By Krishnan on 5/24/2009 6:12:19 PM

It is reported in the press that the same person is being inducted into the new ministry? Why should the congress leadership bow to such pressures when they have numbers in their hand and induct such corrupt and inefficient people into the ministry?Dont they have any other person with integrity and honesty?Did the people of India vote for the Congress to make such useless people ministers and loot the public money?

2-G SPECTRUM and then 3-G FIASCO?
By ANONYMOUS on 5/23/2009 8:58:26 PM

No wonder the so called 'WEAK PRIME MINISTER' showed teeth and stood by his conviction in disapproving the induction of the incumbent in the Union Government to avoid future complications in his last innings?

Ugly face of PPP model
By Suresh Mehta on 5/10/2009 11:32:21 AM

WiMax deal is the last loot of Raja. BSNL's move to allotte WiMax franchisee to Private players is the example of the ugly face of Public-Private Partnership(PPP) model, where the public sector ultimately losses all.

Raja, the King of corruption
By Vinay Mehta on 5/8/2009 2:02:12 PM

Telecom Minister A Raja is a king of corruption. BSNL officials should be jailed along with the Minister for looting national property. What is the powerful trade unions of BSNL doing? Are they also in the pay roll of Raja?

Mr.Prime Minister, where are you?
By Mallika Khanna on 5/8/2009 12:47:10 PM

No Newspaper and TV Channels expose the blatant corruptions in BSNL and Telecom, because they are the largest advertisers. See how many advts of BSNL is pumping in TV Channels now. This advt pumping is to appease the media. Any way Pioneer showed boldeness to expose the day light robbery

Milking BSNL
By V Gopalakrishnan on 5/8/2009 8:59:44 AM

Congratulations to Mr. Gopikrishnan on his excellent work in exposing the exploits of A Raja the union minister of telecom. But what is the use ? In a country like India ruled by corrupt politicians, corrupt judiciary along with a corrupt police system and above all where corruption is accepted as a way of life , nobody can set things right. A hopeless state of affairs. Even God won't know where we are heading.

Spectrum Raja
By krishnan on 5/8/2009 7:42:54 AM

Please send copies to Junior Vikatan, kumudam Reporter, nakkeeran , Tamilan Express which are madly in love with DMK and its coterie. Already Raja is facing huge defeat in OOtyt.

Fearless Reporting
By Rahul Singh on 5/8/2009 12:24:30 AM

Congrats to Pioneer and Editor/Publisher Chandan Mitra, while other Newspapers and TV Channels are keeping silence on Raja's looting. BSNL, the mighty advertiser suceeded in silencing all, excpet Pioneer. This shows, with money power, you can't suceed all. Sathyameva Jayate - not Jai Ho

Great Job once again by pioneer
By Anonymas on 5/6/2009 5:37:02 PM

The same things was done by A raja while allocating UASL.Unitech floated 8 companies on same day. One company according to ROC was floated on 26th october. While 25th october was the cutoff date. NO wonder. Allianze infratech got license even when its application was rejected first hand. Why to blame raja only he has full support from the center.

Well exposed
By Sunil on 5/6/2009 5:12:21 PM

Well done Pioneer and well exposed. Hope you can follow up on this so that the culpable are dealt with.

By Ajay on 5/6/2009 2:36:13 PM

kudos to pioneer for its efforts. It is shame that such scams can be so openly conducted.

Save BSNL from looting
By Chandra Mohan TK on 5/6/2009 2:15:54 PM

BSNL is nation's asset. Raja or Kuldeep Goyal can't play with it. Kudos to Pioneer for exposing. Welldone. Any way formerTelecom Minister Sukh Ram will soon get Raja as jail mate.

Looting in the last lap
By Vikram Malhotra on 5/6/2009 1:44:42 PM

This is Raja's looting in the last lap. Congrats to Pioneer for exposing the scams in Telecom Ministry. It is shocking that BSNL is getting only just 25 percent, while the private companies getting 75 percent of the revenue - after freely using laksh of Communication towers, offices and lakhs of kilometers of fibre network of BSNL, which is the Nation's property. Jail Raja and BSNLChairman

Nepotism in Telecom ministry
By S.Raguraman on 5/6/2009 12:14:08 PM

If the BJP comes to power on the 16th May, all contracts and allotments made by Raja's regime should be reviewed and revoked if found malafide. Concerned parties - both officials and businessmen - should also be legally proceeded against. Only such strict action will deter future misappropriation of power.

What is PM doing
By Pradeep Chandran on 5/6/2009 11:20:26 AM

What is PM Manmohan Singh doing with this proven habitual looter collegaue A Raja. I am sure with Karunanidhi's patronage, the telecom minister is doing rampant corruption. BSNL CMD Kuldeep Goyal should be sacked for his spineless activity

Congrats to Pioneer for bold expose
By Virender Shah on 5/6/2009 9:03:17 AM

Congrats to Pioneer for boldly exposing Telecom Minister Raja, the most corrupt man in the Manmohan Singh's cabinet. As Raja is controlling the telecom, which is the uplinker of TV Channels, no TV Channel or its so called brave guys/girls will never dare to do anything agaisnt Raja. Welldone Pioneer

Milking BSNL
By Krishen Kak on 5/6/2009 8:46:22 AM

Congratulations again to The Pioneer on its investigative reporting.

Great loot in the last lap
By Vijay Shankar on 5/6/2009 8:12:09 AM

This is a great loot in the last lap. PM should intervene to stop the WiMax deal of BSNL. Along with Raja, the BSNL CMD Kuldeep Goyal should be punished. Raja awaits the fate of his predessor Sukhram. Congrats to The Pioneer


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