The former Telecom Minister, A. Raja's defence lawyer on Friday termed the testimony of Aseervatham Achary “false and created” and his complaint of threats to his life a “planned conspiracy” between between the key witness and the CBI in the 2G spectrum case.
Mr. Achary's outburst on Thursday in the middle of his cross-examination, accusing a person sitting in the CBI special court here of posing a threat to his life, was a “drama,” defence said. “All this is a planned conspiracy between you and the investigating agency…because the bail application of R.K. Chandolia [Mr. Raja's former private secretary] is pending before the Supreme Court,” said defence lawyer Sushil Kumar. It would come up for hearing on January 2. A witness alleging threat to his life could severely affect the chances of Mr. Chandolia getting bail, counsel said.
Mr. Achary was subjected to intense cross-examination on his sudden outburst. “When you took oath on Monday why did you not tell the judge of this threat?”
The witness replied, “In my heart I believed that the CBI was taking care of it [the threat]”. The judge also enquired whether Mr. Achary had complained earlier of any threats and added: “He [Mr. Achary[ did not say anything earlier and had he said it, then it would have been on record and many of them (accused) would not have got bail.”
“When you were further cross-examined by my senior colleague Ram Jethmalani on Tuesday and Wednesday, why did you not disclose what was deep in your heart?” the defence lawyer further probed.
“I had asked you 10 questions before you said there was a threat to your life,” said Mr. Kumar, to which the witness replied that his sudden outburst arose from the fact that he was “surprised and shocked” when he saw the accused man sitting next to Mr. Chandolia and bringing a stool up to the bench (where the defence lawyers sit).
The exact nature of Mr. Achary's work while in the former Telecom Minister's employment was also probed in detail.
“Tell me your daily routine?” demanded the defence. “I would go around 8.30 to 9.30 a.m. to Mr. Raja's bungalow and then we would go to Electronic Niketan together,” said Mr. Achary.
At this point, Mr. Kumar asked him whether he would sit in the back seat of the car alongside Mr. Raja and listen to his telephone conversations. “Yes” Mr. Achary replied and added that it was not intentional but it was his situation that made him overhear the Minister on the phone.
“We were sitting next to each other… our hands used to touch,” he said and hurriedly added, “Whether it is accepted in court or not, deep in my heart he is my elder brother.”
Mr. Kumar then asked him whether he accompanied the Minster anywhere else after their morning journey together and also asked him if the Minister took him along if he went home for lunch but before he could finish his sentence, Mr. Achary interrupted him thus: “He has given me lunch my Lord, he has given me breakfast, lunch and dinner… especially when I was bachelor, he was protective and giving me food, I will never forget it my entire life.”
Friday was the last date of the hearing before the court closed for vacations. Mr. Achary has been asked by the defence to produce a copy of his CBI complaint alleging threat to his life, his rental agreement and proof of a “forged” complaint that Mr. Achary said was pending against him regarding disproportionate assets when the court re-opens on January 2.