In 2007, when A Raja was telecom minister, Department of Telecom (DoT) began the process of allotting 2G spectrum for second generation 2G mobile phones and Unified Access Service (UAS) licenses, to provide wireline and wireless services.
DoT decided to issue licenses on first-come-first-serve basis and received 575 applications.
Then-PM Manmohan Singh, FM and TRAI raised concerns over the procedures adopted.
The application date was set as October 1, 2007. Further, once a telecom company got the "spectrum linked with license," they were supposed to roll-out services within the first year of allotment. However, Raja allegedly subverted the government's pointers of allocating spectrum.
The cut-off date of submitting applications was changed from October 1 to September 25. Later, DoT said those who apply between 3.30-4.30pm will be issued licenses.
Further, companies like Shahid Balwa's Swan Telecom and Sanjay Chandra's Unitech were given licenses despite not having any experience in running telecom businesses. They later sold their stakes at much higher rates to Etisalat and Telenor, respectively.
During the same time, tapes of phone conversations between corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and some journalists like Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghavi during UPA-II's cabinet formation were made public. These tapes indicated that Raja was given the telecom portfolio after lobbying.
In April 2011, CBI filed its first charge-sheet naming Raja, his personal secretary RK Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura among others.
M Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi was named in the second charge-sheet. It was alleged that Balwa invested Rs. 200cr in Kaliagnar TV, owned by Kanimozhi, as kickback for obtaining the spectrum license.