CBI grills Niira Radia on 2G scam; is Raja next?

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 16:41

New Delhi: Breaking from its standard
practice, CBI Tuesday questioned corporate lobbyist Niira Radia
for four hours at her residence in south Delhi in connection
with the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

CBI`s move to question Radia at her farmhouse raised
eyebrows as the agency had yesterday issued summons asking
her to appear before the agency. Usually, those summoned are
questioned at the CBI headquarters or its offices here.

Seeking to downplay the issue, CBI spokesperson said,
"I don’t have much to say but it is the prerogative of the
Investigation Officer to choose the place for questioning.

There have been instances earlier as well when CBI has gone to
a person`s place for questioning."

CBI reached Radia`s farmhouse at Chhattarpur area at
about 10 am to question her on several issues including her
alleged involvement in the spectrum allocation.

Her questioning was being carried by the CBI probing a
case registered on October 21, 2009 against unknown Department
of Telecom officials and private persons and companies for
allegedly causing loss of Rs 22,000 crore to the exchequer.

The figure of the loses mentioned in the agency`s FIR
were based on the findings of Central Vigilance Commission
which had referred the case to the CBI.

The CBI sleuths had earlier carried out searches at
Radia`s residence and the premises of her firm, Vaishnavi
Communications, here.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has also grilled her on
allegations of money laundering last month when she was
called to the ED headquarters.

Radia hit the spotlight after her taped telephonic
conversations with various influential people including
industrialists, politicians and journalists became public.

Supreme Court is closely monitoring the multi agency
probe in the allocation of 2G spectrum to certain telecom
firms.

It has criticised the CBI for its slow pace in the probe
and had asked why none of the high-profile people including
former Telecom Minister A Raja not being questioned so far.

CBI has issued summons to Raja, who is in Chennai,
asking him to appear before the agency.

The apex court has asked CBI and ED to submit status
reports on their probe to it by February 10, when the 2G
spectrum case will come up for hearing.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in
its report to the Parliament had said that the allocation of
2G spectrum at under valued prices had resulted in the loss of
Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, December 21, 2010 - 16:41

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