The Central Bureau of Investigation got custody of the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja, for three more days and Swan Telecom director Shahid Balwa for four more days from a court here on Monday, but not before counsel for the two accused severely criticised the agency for not revealing in court “specific details” of the progress it has made in the 2G spectrum scam.
CBI counsel Akhilesh said charges under IPC Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with Section 420 (cheating) and Section 468 (forgery) were added against the accused.
Another detail revealed by the CBI's remand application on Monday was the emergence of new facts of an alleged quid pro quo in favour of Kalaignar TV by “some other telecom operator.” The agency reiterated that both Mr. Raja and Mr. Balwa “answered evasively,” “did not give proper answers to questions” and were found “hiding the true facts.”
Mr. Balwa's counsel Vijay Aggarwal argued forcefully that the remand application submitted by the CBI on Monday was heavy on “general statements” and was a “cut-copy-paste” of the agency's remand application of last Thursday when Mr. Raja and Mr. Balwa were remanded in four-day custody. Mr. Aggarwal cited a number of judgments and Delhi High Court rules and orders to plead against remanding his client in police custody on the basis of “such general statements.”
“While in the previous remand application, Cineyug is stated to have made a transaction worth nearly Rs.214 crore to Kalaignar TV, this time the agency says the transaction is about Rs.200 crore. Was this figure arrived at after interrogation?” Mr. Aggarwal wanted to know.
Mr. Balwa's counsel also submitted a seniority list of the new licensees for 13 circles, based on dates when they applied for Unified Access Services Licences and when they submitted Letters of Intent, in an attempt to prove that Swan Telecom was not a favoured party. Mr. Aggarwal said the seniority list showed that other companies like Datacom Solutions and Unitech Wireless had consistently climbed up the seniority list in several circles while Swan Telecom had fallen, according to the modified “first come first served” arrangement.
“Why have the stakeholders of other companies, who caused the Rs.22,000 crore loss to the exchequer that is cited in the FIR, not been arrested so far? My client is being discriminated against by the CBI,” Mr. Aggarwal alleged.