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Updated: November 17, 2011 17:48 IST

2G case: Notice to CBI on plea against ‘tutoring’ witnesses

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Director of Mumbai-based DB Realty and promoter of Etisalat DB, Vinod Goenka, at the Patiala Court complex in New Delhi. File photo
The Hindu Director of Mumbai-based DB Realty and promoter of Etisalat DB, Vinod Goenka, at the Patiala Court complex in New Delhi. File photo

A Delhi court on Thursday sought the Central Bureau of Investigation’s response on a plea by a 2G case accused for a direction to the agency to “refrain from interfering” with witnesses.

Issuing notice to the CBI on Swan Telecom Director Vinod Goenka’s plea, Special CBI Judge O.P. Saini asked the agency to file its reply by November 23, 2011.

Mr. Goenka, in an application through his counsel Majid Memon, sought its direction to the CBI to “refrain from interfering” with witnesses in “a suspicious manner” before their deposition in the court.

“CBI should be asked to refrain from secretly calling witnesses and showing them their statements,” Mr. Memon submitted.

Mr. Goenka made the plea in wake of a statement by Reliance ADAG president A.N. Sethuraman, a prosecution witness, to the court on Wednesday that he was called by the CBI to its office in a “suspicious manner” two days before commencement of the trial in the case on November 11.

Mr. Sethuraman had made the statement during his cross-examination by a defence counsel.

During the arguments on Thursday, Mr. Memon said it was “not fair in the eyes of the law” that the CBI was calling witnesses to its office in the name of refreshing their memory.

Mr. Sethuraman had told the court on Wednesday that in March this year, while making his statement to the CBI under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code, he was shown a document by an agency official and was asked if the signature on it was that of Reliance ADAG senior vice-president Hari Nair, also a 2G case accused.

Mr. Sethuraman had submitted in the court that he had given a statement to a CBI official that the signature on that particular document appeared to be that of Mr. Nair.

But, according to him, the CBI recorded his statement that he had identified the signature as that of Nair. He said CBI had brushed aside his objection at that time.

He was again called to the CBI office on November 9, 2011 and was shown the same statement and was told by an agency official to reiterate the same in the court during his deposition as prosecution witness, he had said.

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