Special Court takes cognisance of 2G case

A Special Court set up to exclusively hear matters related to the 2G spectrum scam took cognisance of the first charge sheet filed by the CBI on Saturday.

Three telecom companies and nine individuals, including the former Union Telecom Minister, A. Raja, and several corporate bigwigs were indicted, paving the way for further legal proceedings against the accused persons.

The three companies charge-sheeted are Unitech Wireless, Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB) and Reliance Telecom.

The corporate honchos who have been indicted are Managing Director of Unitech Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, Director of Swan Telecom and Managing Director of DB Realty Vinod Goenka and three senior officials of the Reliance ADA Group headed by Anil Ambani.

The three Reliance ADA officials indicted are Managing Director of ADA Group Gautam Doshi, Group President Surendra Pipara and Senior Vice-President Hari Nair. Former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura and Mr. Raja's former Private Secretary R.K. Chandolia are the two bureaucrats' chargesheeted.

The various charges against these persons include Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 420 (cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Indian Penal Code besides Section 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Special Judge (CBI) O.P. Saini after going through the charge sheet noted: “ I have carefully gone through the FIR, charge sheet, statement of witnesses and related documents…I am satisfied there is enough incriminating material on record to proceed against the accused persons. Accordingly, I take cognisance of the case.”

The court also issued summons to Sanjay Chandra, Vinod Goenka, Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair to appear before it on the next date of hearing on April 13.

The judicial remand of Mr. Raja, Siddhartha Behura, Shahid Balwa and R.K. Chandolia has been extended to April 13.

Led by investigating officer Vivek Priyadarshi, CBI personnel trooped into the packed courtroom with seven large metal chests filled with various documents that included Telecom Department files, seizures made on searches at various locations, Unified Access Services licence application, licences of telecom companies and minutes of board meetings.