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Updated: April 29, 2011 01:50 IST

Balwa retracts statement

Jiby Kattakayam
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File photo of Shahid Usman Balwa, promoter of Swan Telecom.
File photo of Shahid Usman Balwa, promoter of Swan Telecom.

Retracting his statement made before a special court hearing the 2G spectrum scam cases on Wednesday, Etisalat DB promoter Shahid Usman Balwa on Thursday moved an application claiming he “had never prayed that the Prime Minister be called to the court in the witness box.”

In his application, Mr. Balwa said his counsel had only argued whether the “CBI, which had enclosed documents signed by the Prime Minister and also stated that [the then Communications Minister] A. Raja had misled the Prime Minister as alleged in the charge sheet, was planning to examine the Prime Minister as a witness as per the requirements of the Indian Evidence Act”

“This was a mere question with no intention of summoning the Prime Minister. The intention… was to highlight how the CBI was misleading this court,” the application said.

Mr. Balwa noted that his bail application was being argued, and this was not the stage to argue about such matters. The application said the media was indulging in “out-of-context” reporting, and this created “poor public perception… of the accused/applicant and also tries to undermine the respect for the highest public office and the courts” and asked Special Judge O.P. Saini to issue appropriate orders.

Mr. Balwa said: “Reporting should be in respect of the final orders passed by the court or the submissions made in writing;” oral submissions made during the arguments are being reported “out of context.”

Meanwhile, a private complainant has filed an application praying that the special court direct the CBI to investigate further the roles of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata in Tata Teleservices unduly benefiting in the grant of UAS licences.

In his application, Dharmender Panday said: “The CBI had overlooked the role of Niira Radia and Tata in the grant of the licence to Tata Tele in terms of clear violation of policy and procedure.” He also noted that Ms. Radia was only named as a witness in the case by the CBI despite facts to the contrary.

An official of the Telecom Department also objected to the inclusion of Tata Teleservices' application submitted on October 22, 2007, 21 days after the cut-off date (October 1, 2007), he alleged.

While Mr. Panday's complaint will be heard on May 2, the CBI will respond on May 3 to the arguments made on Wednesday by defence in Mr. Balwa's bail application.

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