New Delhi: A special CBI court on Monday fixed April 4 for recording the statements of accused, including former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and some top corporates executives, in the 2G spectrum case.
Special CBI Judge O P Saini, who was scheduled to record the statements of the accused today, posted it for April 4, saying "only half of the work is over" as preparing questions to be asked from the accused was a lengthy process.
The judge, however, said he would give sets of questions to the accused on April 4 so that they could file their written response within a week.
"The other case (against promoters of Essar Group and Loop Telecom) is also listed for April 4. I will be done (preparing the questions) by then in both the cases. I will give the questions to both the parties and they will submit their written replies within one week," the judge said.
The special judge also said, "I am trying to prepare the questions in such a manner that your (accused) work will be done in half-an-hour."
The court had on November 27, 2013, concluded recording of statements of CBI witnesses in the case after the deposition of CBI's Superintendent of Police Vivek Priyadarshi, the chief investigating officer, got over.
The court has recorded statements of 153 CBI witnesses, including Reliance ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani, his wife Tina Ambani, former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and Attorney General G E Vahanvati, running into over 4,400 pages in the case involving Raja and 16 others.
The court had also concluded recording of evidence of CBI witnesses in the case arising out of the investigation into the 2G scam involving the promoters of Essar Group, Loop Telecom and others.
During the recording of evidence in the case against promoters of Essar Group and Loop Telecom, the court has recorded statements of 95 CBI witnesses, running into 1,056 pages.
The stage for the start of the trial on November 11, 2011 was set after the court had framed charges against the 17, including three telecom firms, named in the first two charge sheets, saying there was sufficient prima facie evidence against them.
The proceedings in the case, conducted by the special CBI court set up exclusively to deal with the 2G spectrum case, are also being monitored by the Supreme Court.
Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja's erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) -- Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair -- are facing trial in the case.
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, three telecom firms -- Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL), Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd -- are also facing trial in the case. They have been arrayed as accused in the first two CBI charge sheets filed on April 2 and 25, 2011 respectively.
The court had on October 22, 2011 framed charges against them under provisions of the 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.
The CBI on December 12, 2011, had filed its charge sheet against Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, and Loop Telecom promoters I P Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan for their alleged roles in the criminal case linked to the 2G scam.
Essar Group director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf and three telecom firms -- Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holdings Ltd -- were also arrayed as accused in the charge sheet for allegedly cheating Department of Telecom (DoT) by using Loop Telecom as a "front" to secure 2G licences in 2008.
First Published: Monday, March 3, 2014, 11:21