In a fresh trouble for telecom giants, Income Tax department has initiated a post-2008 probe into the finances, investments and returns of all those 122 2G spectrum licence benefactors whose authorisations were scrapped by the Supreme Court recently.
These 122 licences, granted during the time of former telecom minister A Raja, were cancelled by the apex court on the ground that they were issued in a "totally arbitrary and unconstitutional" manner.
In its 2G probe case status report, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) last week had informed the Supreme Court that it has begun to scrutinise the tax statements and multi- billion investments of these telecom firms on the directions of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), which is vetting the investigation reports of the department along with ED and CBI, the two other agencies probing the 2G spectrum case.
The CVC, during a meeting last month with a team of CBDT officials, had asked them and the I-T department to focus and probe all those telecom firms who were granted 122 licences during Raja's tenure.
The CBDT, subsequently has issued formal orders to all its investigation units across the country, to begin a comprehensive financial probe of these telecom firms with retrospective effect from 2008, sources said.
A special unit has been put on this job now, they said.
The companies that are now under the I-T scanner are Uninor (joint venture between Unitech and Telenor of Norway), Loop Telecom, Sistema Shyam (joint venture between Shyam and Sistema of Russia), Etisalat DB (joint venture between Swan and Etisalat of UAE), S Tel, Videocon, Tatas and Idea.