A Delhi court on Monday recorded the statement of former Telecom Minister A. Raja, a key accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

Special CBI Judge O.P. Saini started the recording of the statement of the accused by saying that it was a “direct conversation” between the accused and the judge.

“Now the statement of accused will be recorded. It is a direct conversation between the accused and the judge...you (accused) may chose to reply or not reply,” the judge said.

Meanwhile, the special court, which was also scheduled to record the statements of promoters of Essar Group and Loop Telecom, who are facing trial in a case arising out of the probe into the 2G spectrum scam, deferred their deposition before it to May 19.

“I think there will be no time for you today. The matter is adjourned for recording of statement of accused to May 19,” the judge said.

The court had recorded statements of 153 CBI witnesses, including Anil Ambani, his wife Tina, former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and Attorney-General G.E. Vahanvati.

Besides Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R.K. Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, Reliance ADAG executives — Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair — are facing trial in the case.

Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV Director Sharad Kumar and Bollywood producer Karim Morani are also accused in the case.

The court had on October 22, 2011, framed charges against the accused under provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.

The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.

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