2G: CBI gets Raja’s custody for three more days

A Delhi court on Monday extended the CBI remand of former telecom minister A Raja and Swan Telecom`s Shahid Balwa in connection with the 2G scam.

New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister A Raja
was remanded on Monday to CBI custody for 3 more days for
interrogation on his alleged role in 2G spectrum allocation
scam along with Swam Telecom-promoter Shahid Usman Balwa whose
custody was extended for four days.

The court remanded the Raja and Balwa to CBI`s custody
till February 17 saying the crime is "enormous".

Special Judge O P Saini extended Raja`s custody,
ignoring his allegation that CBI was being driven by political
motive instead of probing the case against him.

"What is the purpose of police custody? (It`s not clear)
whether they (CBI) want it for unearthing the conspiracy or
have political motive. CBI should not make it a political game
and they should investigate only," Raja`s counsel Ramesh Gupta
contended before the court, opposing CBI`s plea for extension
of his client`s custody.
However, the judge said "the crime is enormous in nature
and its investigation is time-consuming. Accordingly,
considering the enormity of the crime, complex and complicated
nature of the investigation, voluminous documents involved in
the case, I find that the prayer for further custodial
interrogation of the accused persons is justified.

The 47-year-old DMK leader, who has been facing an
intense grilling by CBI sleuths for the last 11 days at the
agency headquarters, opposed CBI`s plea saying "no new facts
have come on record during the previous police custody

"There is no justification for extension of police
custody remand," contended Gupta.
Seeking extension of remand, senior public prosecutor
Akhilesh, said both the accused were confronted with each
other during the custodial interrogation but they were
"evasive in their replies".

"Both the accused have been evasive in their replies and
as such, their interrogation could not be completed. In this
case, the documents are quite voluminous and the nature of the
case is quite difficult and complicated. As such, their
interrogation could not be completed," CBI said.

Opposing CBI`s plea for extension of Balwa`s custody, his
counsel Vijay Aggarwal contended before the court that his
client was merely engaged in bonafide commercial transactions
and had not violated any law.

He said Balwa has been co-operating with CBI throughout
the investigation.


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