Sibal, who took charge of the telecom ministry after Raja, said that spectrum allocations without auctions were done by the NDA government also. Subsequently, he constituted a one-man inquiry under retired justice Shivraj Patil, which pointed out a number of irregularities.
Broadly, the CBI's charge is that Bharti and Vodafone were beneficiaries of the department of telecommunications' move on January 31, 2002, to allocate additional spectrum. It has said that Mahajan and Ghosh showed undue haste in clearing the proposal, bypassing the Telecom Commission, Trai, member (finance) and the wireless advisor.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who was appearing for NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation, had said in an earlier hearing that "difference of opinion between the two wings of CBI has become a pattern" and it is all to protect the chairman of Bharti Group, Sunil Mittal.
The case was registered under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.