2G: Key witness Srivastava's deposition postponed for tomorrow
New Delhi: A Delhi court hearing the 2G case Monday could not begin recording the statement of a key witness in the case, a retired senior DoT official A K Srivastava due to ill health of the CBI prosecutor.
Special CBI Judge O P Saini deferred the recording of Srivastava's testimony for tomorrow after prosecutor A K Singh said he was not well and it would be difficult for him to examine such an important witness Monday.
The court discharged Srivastava, a former Deputy Director General (Access Services) of DoT, for the day and recorded the statement of CBI witness and another DoT official S K Saxena.
Srivastava's testimony assumes significance as he, in his statement to the CBI earlier, had said that former Telecom Minister A Raja, key accused in the case, had noted in a DoT file that the cut-off date for receiving the applications for grant of the 2G spectrum licences would be October 1, 2007.
The CBI, in its charge sheet, had alleged that in pursuance of a conspiracy to favour some telecom companies, Raja had decided to accept the applications filed with DoT till September 25 only.
The agency had also alleged that Raja wanted to favour firms, Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd and Swan Telecom and to extend the favour, he unilaterally advanced the cut-off date for accepting the applications.
Srivastava, whose testimony is crucial for the CBI, had told the agency that Raja's erstwhile Private Secretary R K Chandolia, a co-accused, had on September 24, 2007 enquired from him about the number of applications received so far.
On being told that applications of Unitech group firms have already been received on September 24, 2007, Chandolia had directed Srivastava not to entertain further applications for grant of Unified Access Services Licences (UASL) from the next day; that is, September 25, 2007, the witness had said.
Meanwhile, the court Monday allowed the plea of Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, a co-accused in the case, to go to Thailand for business purpose from August 4 and August 5.
On CBI's opposition to the application that his "frequent visits" may hamper the ongoing trial, the judge had asked Chandra to cut short his trip as Srivastava is going to be examined now and he should be present in the court.
Chandra had earlier sought permission to visit Thailand from August 2 to 8 for business works.
Besides Raja, Chandolia and Chandra, other accused facing trial in the case include Kanimozhi, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka.
Top Reliance ADAG executives Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd's directors Asif Balwa and Rajeev Aggarwal, Bollywood filmmaker Karim Morani and DMK-run Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar are also facing trial in the case.
Besides these 14 accused, three telecom firms -- Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd -- are also accused in the case.