CBI charges ex-Telecom Minister A. Raja in disproportionate assets case

‘He was in possession of wealth and pecuniary resources to the extent of ₹5.53 crore, a 579% deviation from his known sources of income’

October 10, 2022 10:37 pm | Updated December 22, 2022 06:38 pm IST - CHENNAI

Former Telecom Minister Andimuthu Raja. File

Former Telecom Minister Andimuthu Raja. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has chargesheeted former Union Telecom Minister A. Raja, the sitting Nilgiris MP, in a disproportionate assets case registered in 2015.

Upon completion of investigation in the seven-year-old case, the agency filed the chargesheet against Mr. Raja and five others in a special court for CBI cases in Chennai recently. The final investigation report accused Mr. Raja of accumulating assets to the tune of ₹5.53 crore, which it alleged, was disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The case was registered after the 2G spectrum allocation case in which Mr. Raja was accused by the CBI of bias in allotment of air waves and operating licences to telecom firms causing a huge loss to the state exchequer. A Delhi court later acquitted him of all charges in 2017. 

The CBI registered the disproportionate assets case against the former Minister and 16 others, including his family members and associates, on August 18, 2015. The agency accused them of accumulating disproportionate assets to the tune of ₹ 27.92 crore. Based on preliminary investigation, the agency said the wealth was disproportionate to his known income sources during the check period October 1999-September 2010.

Soon after registering the case under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, the CBI conducted simultaneous searches at 20 places in New Delhi and at Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchi and Perambalur in Tamil Nadu. Documents such as income-tax returns, property documents, financial statements and fixed deposit receipts were seized. CBI sources said some of the documents seized during searches conducted in the 2G spectrum case also formed the basis for initiating the disproportionate assets case.

It has been established during investigation that Mr. Raja was in possession of wealth and pecuniary resources to the extent of ₹5.53 crore which is a 579% deviation from the known sources of income, sources in the agency told The Hindu on Monday. The MP and five others were named in the chargesheet since the case was not made out against others.

The chargesheeted case relates to the tenure of Mr. Raja as Lok Sabha MP, Union Minister of State for Rural Development, Union Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare in the BJP-led government at the Centre.

In the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, he became the Union Minister of Environment and Forests and was then allocated the Communications and Information Technology portfolio in May 2007.

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