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Updated: October 23, 2011 01:35 IST

Raja, Chandolia, Behura, charged with abuse of official position

Staff Reporter
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Former Telecom Minister A. Raja. File photo
Former Telecom Minister A. Raja. File photo

For receiving a bribe of Rs. 200 crore — which was collected by Kalaignar TV —from Swan Telecom in consideration of grant of UAS licences and spectrum, the former Telecom Minister, A.. Raja, would be tried for an offence punishable under Section 7 (public servant taking bribe) or the alternative Section 11 of the Prevention of Corruption Act read with 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, special CBI court judge O.P. Saini said on Saturday.

Kalaignar TV is co-owned by fellow accused Sharad Kumar and DMK MP Kanimozhi

Mr. Raja, his former private secretary R.K. Chandolia, and the former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura were also charged with abusing their official position as public servants for granting UAS licences and allocating spectrum to Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless, resulting in the two companies obtaining pecuniary benefits to the tune of Rs.7,105 crore by offloading shares. For this, the three men would be tried under Section 13(2), read with 13(1)(d) of the PC Act, read with 120B of the IPC.

Real estate magnates Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka and Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless were charged under Section 420, read with 120B of the IPC, for cheating the Telecom Department into issuing them UAS licences and allocating spectrum. This despite their knowing that their companies were ineligible for licences on the date of application.

Reliance ADA Group's top officials Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipaa would be tried for passing on Swan Telecom to Mr. Shahid Balwa and Mr. Goenka, knowing that it was ineligible for UAS licences on the date of application, thereby abetting in the offence. They were charged for offences punishable under Section 109 (abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence)/Section 420 read with 120B of the IPC.

For the transaction of Rs.200 crore from Dynamix Realty to Kalaignar TV, Mr. Shahid Balwa, Mr. Goenka, Swan Telecom, Asif Balwa, Rajeev Aggarwal, Karim Morani, Mr. Sharad Kumar and Ms. Kanimozhi would be tried under various sections of the PC Act for “abetting in the receipt of illegal gratification or in the alternative, a loan for consideration which was known to be inadequate.”

Indicting Mr. Balwa, Mr. Goenka, Mr. Aggarwal, Mr. Morani, Mr. Sharad Kumar and Mr. Asif Balwa for creating false documents to show the bribe amount of Rs. 200 crore as a loan, “with a view to using them in any stage of judicial proceeding” as a perfectly legal transaction, Mr. Saini said, “thereby you committed an offence punishable under Section 193 (false evidence) read with 120-B.”

On Ms. Kanimozhi, whose bail application would come up for hearing on Monday, Mr. Saini said: “You Kanimozhi Karunanidhi had also been in regular touch with accused A. Raja regarding launching of Kalaignar TV channels and other pending works of Kalaignar TV and you were also an initial director of the company... and you were also a stakeholder in Kalaignar TV to the tune of 20 per cent equity and was an active brain behind its operations and you were also widely covered by the Kalaignar Seithigal (News) channel.”

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A Cabinet Minister and a Secretary to the Government is alleged to have done as they pleased in a matter which involved granting UAS licences and allocating 2G spectrum to private companies. One thought that in the government this is not possible since there are many built-in checks and counter checks. But these are strange times and perhaps the impossible can happen!

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 12:39 IST
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