2G scam: CBI to file 1st chargesheet against Raja

The CBI will file this week its first charge sheet into the 2G spectrum scam against former Telecom Minister A Raja.

Last Updated: Mar 27, 2011, 18:56 PM IST

New Delhi: The CBI will file this week its
first charge sheet into the 2G spectrum scam against former
Telecom Minister A Raja and some of his close aides besides a
couple of real estate companies for allegedly defrauding the
exchequer and entering into a criminal conspiracy in securing
the telecom licenses.

CBI sources, however, said the extent of loss to the
state exchequer may not be included in this charge sheet as
the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was yet to
complete the process of ascertaining the loss on allocation of
spectrum to all operators between 2001 and 2008.

The sources said that the charge sheet would cover the
alleged criminal conspiracy behind allocation of spectrum
during 2007-08 by Raja, the then Telecom Minister.

The charge sheet will be filed in a special court of
Justice O P Saini, which is expected to be started from
Tuesday as the Centre has already informed the Supreme Court
about the same.

The CBI had last year informed the apex court that it
would be filing the first set of charge sheet by March 31
which will include the investigations made by the agency as
well as by the Enforcement Directorate in the case.

The charge sheet comes at a time when Tamil Nadu is
going for the Assembly polls, and Raja is a member of the
ruling DMK in the state.

Congress and DMK have a pre-poll alliance.

The CBI is expected to seek permission from the court
for continuance of its probe in the case after filing its
first charge sheet, as the probe agency wants to investigate
various other angles including criminal conspiracy for
favouring certain companies, abusing of official position for
getting pecuniary benefits and the companies which manipulated
the records to secure loans.

The sources said that besides those arrested in the case
including Raja, his personal aide R K Chandolia, former
Telecom Secretary Siddartha Behura, former Managing Director
of Etislat DB (earlier Swan Telecom) Shahid Usman Balwa, the
name of an MP may be mentioned in the charge sheet for being a
part of the company which had allegedly received kickbacks in
the scam.

They said the names of at least two firms dealing in
real estate business would be mentioned in the charge sheet
for allegedly entering into a criminal conspiracy and bribing
government officials for bending rules in their favour.

A prominent telecom firm will continue to be under
scanner as the agency feels that several funds were routed
through overseas into DMK`s Kalingar Television.

On the exact loss to the exchequer, the CBI is likely to
inform the court about its efforts including approaching the
TRAI for the same. The sources said that TRAI was still to come out with
any figure in this regard.

The CBI had requested TRAI to set up an expert team
which will go into the entire gamut of spectrum pricing and
give an estimated loss which could be proved in the court of
law.

The probe agency had earlier said the government may
have lost over Rs 22,000 crore due to irregularities in the
allocation of spectrum in January, 2008, by the then Telecom
Minister A Raja, who was arrested earlier on charges of
favouring some private firms.

The CAG has put the presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh
crore to the exchequer.

PTI