2G case: Court dismisses CBI's plea to put Radia CD on record
New Delhi: A Delhi Court on Friday dismissed CBI's plea seeking to place on record a CD of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia's taped conversations and the transcripts of her calls purportedly pertaining to radio waves allocation.
Special CBI Judge O P Saini dismissed the plea saying that it seems that the agency is not "much serious" about its petition as it has not provided certain documents to the accused.
"In view of the failure of the prosecution to supply annexure 'A' to the aforesaid letter to the accused, it has not pressed the application seriously.
"Since the application has been vehemently opposed by the defence as well as complete application has not been supplied to the defence and the prosecution itself does not appear much serious about the application, the same deserves to be dismissed and is accordingly dismissed," the court said.
It said, "The (plea for) filing of the CD on record has been vehemently opposed by the defence on various grounds including that the same would prejudice the defence as the same is being attempted to be placed on record belatedly, when the accused have already disclosed their defence.
"It is further submitted that this CD cannot be taken on record through an incomplete application as annexure 'A' of the aforesaid letter has not been supplied to them," the judge said.
The court noted that CBI had not supplied to the accused the annexure 'A' to the letter dated May 20, 2010 which was received by it from the Income Tax department having the details of intercepted calls stored in a USB hard disk.
During the brief arguments today, Special Public Prosecutor U U Lalit told the court that he is unable to supply the documents as it contains other details which are not relevant to this case and "cannot be disclosed in the interest of security of the state."
The court dismissed the plea and asked the agency to proceed with the ongoing trial.
"The plea is dismissed," the judge said, adding, "How many applications will you (CBI) move? Let the case proceed."
The court, however, allowed CBI's separate plea for recalling prosecution witness Nitin Jain, whose statement has already been recorded.
CBI had moved the plea to recall Jain on the ground that there "appears to be slight inconsistency" in his testimony regarding the cut-off date.
"I have carefully considered the rival submissions in the light of the material on record. Though, I do not find much merit in the prayer of the prosecution yet, since the Special PP is desirous of putting only two questions to the witness (Jain) in re-examination, I am inclined to take a little liberal view of the matter and accordingly allow the prayer for summoning PW 110 Nitin Jain for re-examination and let the prosecution put two questions to him," the court said.
The accused in the case had yesterday objected to CBI's plea as being "mischievous", saying it had been filed after a long delay.
CBI's plea had been opposed on the ground that the agency had received a hard disk containing Radia's taped telephonic conversations from the Income Tax Department in 2010 and it should have placed it on record earlier.
CBI had moved the court, saying that out of the 62 taped conversations of 53-year-old Radia, it had already submitted transcripts of 12 conversations before it and now it wanted to place on record the rest for "fairness" and "completeness".
It also sought the court's permission to place on record the CD containing Radia's 62 taped conversations.
The agency had said the transcripts are related to conversations between Radia and other individuals and the calls were intercepted by the Income Tax Department.
It had also said that out of these 62, it is relying only on the 12 conversations whose transcripts it had earlier given to the defence.
The agency had also informed the court that as per the apex court's order, the original hard disk containing 5800 conversations has been kept in a sealed cover and if the need arises, it will move the top court seeking permission for placing all the material (5800 conversations) in this court.
In the transcripts produced before the court, Radia is allegedly discussing the issue of lobbying for 2G licences for her clients Unitech and Tata Tele Services Ltd (TTSL) and how certain rivals were on the verge of getting it.
Earlier, in her deposition as a prosecution witness in the case, Radia had said TTSL, which was ahead in the queue for allocation of 2G spectrum, lost the race while an "ineligible" Swan Telecom, said to be owned by ADAG Reliance Communications, was granted the radiowaves.
Radia, who appeared for the first time in the court on May 28 as a CBI witness, had said she was advising the Tatas on telecom issues and TTSL had opposed the allocation of spectrum to Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL) and Reliance Communications Ltd.
CBI, in its charge sheet, had alleged Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL), an accused in the case, used Swan Telecom, an ineligible firm, as its front company to get licences and the costly radio waves.
STPL and its promoters, Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, who were arrested and are at present on bail, face trial in the case along with former Telcom Minister D Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others.
In her statement recorded during the probe under section 161 of the CrPC (dealing with examination of witnesses) before CBI, Radia had said STPL, facing trial in the 2G case, was "not eligible" to get the Unified Access Service (UAS) licences.