One of India’s most high-profile business leaders has waded into the row over the country’s telecoms licensing policy, accusing many operators of manipulating the system to meet their own ends. According to a Financial Times report today, Ratan Tata (pictured) – chairman of India’s famous Tata Group and owner of operator Tata Teleservices – accused “politically motivated operators” of having “willfully subverted policy under various telecoms ministers.” His intervention could mean that the investigation into the Indian government’s controversial 2G spectrum auctions two years ago may be extended to examine the conduct of the operators involved. In a letter to an Indian MP, Tata said that “the same operators continue to subvert policy. [They] have even paid fees for spectrum, even before the announcement of a policy, and have ‘de facto ownership’ in several new telecom enterprises.” Tata itself picked up one of the controversial licences (as part of a joint venture with Japan’s NTT Docomo), but the firm says it has been “severely disadvantaged” by what it alleges is skewed telecoms regulation.

Ratan Tata was also one of those to call for the current investigation to be widened to cover all Indian telecoms policy over the last decade. According to India’s Economic Times, new Indian telecom minister Kapil Sibal announced this week he will appoint a former Supreme Court judge to investigate all allocations since the 2001 2G allotment conducted by the then-governing BJP party. The judge is to report his findings in the New Year. India’s Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is also conducting its own investigation, beginning with the 2001 auctions.