New Delhi: A key prosecution witness in a case arising out of 2G scam probe on Tuesday claimed that he was threatened by the CBI that he would lose his job if investigating officer writes to his employer.
The statement came during the cross examination of S Subramaniam, a former CFO of BPL Cellular Ltd, by senior advocate S V Raju, appearing for Essar Group promoter Anshuman Ruia, an accused in the case.
The court, however, disallowed the question of the defence counsel on this aspect and warned that such queries would be ruled out" with a heavy cost.
"Before ruling could be given on the question, the witness (S Subramaniam) had blurted out the answer. However, question disallowed being in violation of section 162 CrPC. If such questions are persisted with and are ruled out, the ruling would be accompanied by heavy cost," Special CBI Judge O P Saini said.
"Did the CBI tell you that the investigating officer would write to your employer and you would lose your job?" Raju asked Subramaniam.
"That is correct," responded the witness.
Subramaniam denied the suggestion of defence counsel that he had given his statement under CBI's "threat" before a magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC.
"It is wrong to suggest that I gave my statement under section 164 CrPC to the magistrate under threat of CBI. It is wrong to suggest that the time of seven days was given to me to plan as to how to involve Vikash Saraf (an accused) and Essar Group in this case," he said.
"It is wrong to suggest that I am falsely involving Vikash Saraf and Essar Group in this case because of threat given to me by CBI," he told the court.
The statements recorded by a magistrate under section 164 of the CrPC bind a person and any deviation during the trial would make him liable for prosecution for the offence of perjury.
During his cross examination, which concluded today, Subramaniam said "It is wrong to suggest that my understanding that Essar group was controlling BPL Mobile group was wrong."
Essar group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia and Loop Telecom promoters I P Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan and Essar group Director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf and three firms -- ETHL, Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd and Loop Mobile India Ltd are facing trial in the case.
ETHL and others are facing trial for the offence under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with Section 420 (cheating) of IPC, while a substantial charge of cheating has been framed against Saraf.