Court accepts video appearance for all four 2G scam accused

All the four accused in the 2G spectrum scam, including former Telecom Minister A Raja, will now avail video conferencing facility to appear before a Delhi court to participate in its proceedings.

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2011, 20:38 PM IST

New Delhi: All the four accused in the 2G
spectrum scam, including former Telecom Minister A Raja, will
now avail video conferencing facility to appear before a Delhi
court to participate in its proceedings.

Close on the heels of permissions granted to Raja and
Swan Telecom Promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, ex-Telecom Secretary
Siddharath Behura and Raja`s former personal Secretary R K
Chandolia too were today allowed by the court of Special CBI
Judge O P Saini to appear before it through video
conferencing.
The court allowed the duo`s plea as the CBI did
not oppose it.

"The remand proceedings of accused Raja, Behura,
Chandolia and Balwa shall be conducted through the facility of
video conferencing on March 17, without them having to be
brought physically to the court from Tihar Jail," the judge
said.

All the accused are presently lodged in Tihar Jail for
their alleged involvement in the scam. The court had first
allowed Raja`s plea on March 1 to be produced before it
through video conferencing and then Balwa`s yesterday.
The court, which was slated to hear arguments on
Behura`s pleas for bail and de-freezing of his bank accounts,
deferred the hearing after CBI sought some more time to reply
to his pleas.

Senior advocate S S Gandhi, appearing for Behura, told
the court that as his client`s accounts have been frozen by
the probe agency, he had to borrow money from others for his
wife`s treatment. The court will now hear both of Behura`s
plea on March 18.

Behura and Chandolia were arrested along with Raja on
February 2 while Balwa was taken into custody on February 8.

While the first three were arrested for allegedly
abusing their official positions to manipulate the allocation
procedure to favour some telecom companies to grant them
licences, Balwa is charged with penal offences of forgery,
cheating and criminal conspiracy.

The FIR in the case was filed on October 21,
2009 against unknown officials, besides private persons and
companies.

Though the CBI has pegged the loss at Rs 22,000 crore
based on the calculations made by the CVC, the CAG, in its
report, had projected a presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore
due to the 2G spectrum scam.

PTI