2G scam: CBI gets five-day remand of Raja, others

Thursday, February 3, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Patiala House Court on Thursday granted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) a five-day remand of former Telecom Minister A Raja, his personal secretary RK Chandolia and former telecom secretary Siddharth Behuria.

The CBI counsel told the court that the three accused have caused a loss of Rs 2200 crore to the exchequer and there is a need for joint interrogation of them.

Earlier, Special CBI Judge O P Saini grants Raja’s counsel 10-minute private conversation with the former minister.

The CBI arrested Raja along with his personal secretary Chandolia and former telecom secretary Behura on Wednesday in connection with the scam.

The investigating agency questioned Raja for the fourth time on Wednesday. He was questioned earlier on December 24 and 25 last year and on January 31.

The Supreme Court has asked the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to submit status reports on their investigations into the 2G scam to it by February 10, when the case will come up for hearing.

Earlier this week, a report by a one-man commission, Justice Shivraj Patil, was handed over to new Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal. Justice Patil was asked in December to look into whether officials in the Telecom Ministry had, since 1991, violated government procedures and guidelines for allocating spectrum.

The CBI in its first information report had mentioned the loss as Rs.22, 000 crore based on the findings of Central Vigilance Commission, which had referred the case to it.

Raja was forced to resign from Union Cabinet last year after a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs.1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue. (ANI)

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