The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued notice in a contempt application filed on behalf of NGO Telecom Watchdog in a case pertaining to the Central government's alleged move to award telecom contracts to private firms without following the tender/auction process (Telecom Watchdog v. Union of India)..A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh ordered,"Notice issued on contempt application filed by Telecom Watchdog. The same stands returnable on September 17, 2021."Appearing on behalf of Telecom Watchdog, advocate Prashant Bhushan submitted that he had filed the contempt petition against the Secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT); the Deputy Administrator (T-II), USO Fund, DoT; as well as certain police officials for allegedly obstructing the course of justice by threatening the petitioner NGO's President, Vikram Mittal with arrest.However, the Court refused to issue notice to the police officials named in the petition.."Something very serious and unfortunate has happened in this case. Despite objections being made by officers, payments were made to private parties. After the petitioner NGO filed this petition, they have been threatened with allegations of theft and criminal breach of trust. Day before yesterday, summons were issued to us," Bhushan contended.He also apprised the Court of the threats of arrest that the NGO officials were facing..Responding to this, Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, on behalf of the Centre asked,"Why should Mr. Bhushan be so paranoid?"ASG Vikramjit Banerjee, also representing the Centre, added,"He's making incorrect allegations.".After hearing the parties and issuing notice, the Court listed the matter for hearing on September 17..The original PIL pertaining to this case had sought to quash the awarding of contracts on nomination basis by the Administrator of Universal Service Obligation Fund (USO) working under the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), to a private company named CSC E-Governance Services India Ltd (CSC SPV) initially created as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) by the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology for providing e-governance services under the PPP mode. The CSC SPV in turn had incorporated its wholly owned subsidiary named CSC Choupal. The plea had alleged their modus operandi would be that USO Fund would award contracts to CSC SPV on a nomination basis. It would then pass on all the contracts to CSC Choupal, which in turn would further pass it on to private companies, without any tender. .Delhi High Court seeks Centre's response in PIL claiming contracts to CSC for e-services awarded without auction process .The subject matter of the contracts in question was the implementation of "BharatNet", under which Optical Fiber Cable was to be laid across all Gram Panchayats.During a previous hearing in the main matter, Bhushan had claimed that the issue involved a scam of ₹1 lakh crore, which has been going on since March 2017.