2G case: A. Raja was main conspirator, favoured firms, says CBI

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday told a special court that former Telecom Minister A Raja was the “main conspirator” of the 2G spectrum scam and had favoured accused telecom firms in the allocation of radio waves licences.

Advancing final arguments in the case, special public prosecutor Anand Grover said Raja, from the very beginning, had “deliberately” favoured the accused firms and everything was strategically planned to grant them the spectrum licences.

“He was the main conspirator. To favour the accused companies, first he changed the cut-off date for receiving applications from October 10, 2007 to October 1, 2007 for firms seeking 2G licences, in which out of 575 applicant companies, 408 applications were kept out of the race,” Grover told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

He alleged that Raja also rejected then Union Law Minister Hansraj Bhardwaj’s suggestion that the issue of spectrum allocation be referred to Group of Ministers which was apparently done to get rid of any scrutiny by anyone else.

“Further, to assuage the then Prime Minister’s concerns over the issue, he (Raja) wrote a letter to him that he is prescribing with existing norms of first-come, first-serve policy and that he has also taken the concurrence of then solicitor general and Minister of External Affairs in this regard, which was not the case,” Grover claimed.

'LoI unilateral'

He said Raja’s decision to decide the eligibility for grant of spectrum on the basis of compliance conditions of Letters of Intent (LoIs) was unilateral and did not come from the department.

“Then the draft press release was also forged about the concurrence of then solictor general,” Grover said.

He said that four counters were set up to receive the applications from the firms which was done on the basis of slip of paper prepared by former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura and Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia and not as per the department’s file notings.

“The structures of four counters were strategically planned to give an unfair advantage to the accused companies as they knew who all are in the queue and who is going to be rejected,” he said.

The arguments remained inconclusive and will continue on September 10.

Earlier, the CBI had alleged in a court that ex-Telecom Minister A Raja was a “consummate liar” and evidence suggested that he had made false representation and misled then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue of allocation of 2G spectrum licences.

Raja, who has denied all charges during his arguments earlier, and 16 others including DMK MP Kanimozhi, are facing trial in the case.

In its charge sheet, CBI had alleged there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum, which was scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.

Besides Raja, Kanimozhi, Behura and Chandolia promoters of Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra and three top executives of Reliance ADAG — Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair — are facing trial.

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.

Besides these, 14 accused persons, three telecom firms — Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL), Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd — are also accused in the case.

The court had on October 22, 2011, framed charges against them under IPC and 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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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 3:33:37 AM |

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