Raja `hiding facts’: CBI tells court

Former telecom minister A Raja and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, arrested for their role in the 2G spectrum scam, were "evasive" and "hiding real facts" during questioning, the CBI told a Delhi court on Friday.

New Delhi: Former telecom minister A Raja
and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, arrested for
their role in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, were "evasive"
and "hiding real facts" during questioning, the CBI told a
Delhi court on Friday.

"They (Raja and Balwa) were evasive in answering the
questions (during interrogation) and were hiding the real
facts in the light of the facts and circumstances of the case
regarding criminal conspiracy, trail of money etc," CBI said
before Special Judge O P Saini.
Remanding Balwa to judicial custody till March 3,
the judge sent him to Tihar Jail, where Raja too was lodged
yesterday following completion of his 14-day CBI custody.

"It is submitted (by the CBI) that investigation is
not yet complete and the accused (Balwa) may be remanded to
judicial custody. Accused is remanded to judicial custody till
March 3," the judge directed.

47-year-old Raja was arrested on February two on
charges of criminal conspiracy and under the Prevention of
Corruption Act in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation
scam. Later, the charges of cheating and forgery were also
slapped against them.

The court directed the jail authorities to consider
Balwa`s plea for permission to have home-made food, carry
medicines and special orthopaedics mattress and pillow, as per
the jail manual.

"Balwa has moved three applications submitting that he
may be allowed home cooked food, to carry medicines as well as
special orthopaedics mattress and pillow as he is suffering
from back pain.

"Jail Superintendent is directed to consider these
applications as per jail manual," the judge said.

The agency said more witnesses are to be examined and
some more documents are yet to be recovered as the documents
submitted by a telecom company to Department of
Telecommunications for allocation of spectrum, on the basis of
which their priority was to be determined, could not be traced
yet.

"Keeping in view the veracity, seriousness and
importance of the matter, Balwa is required to be kept in
judicial custody as there is every likelihood of tampering of
documents and his winning over or threatening witnesses," CBI
said while seeking judicial remand of the accused.

The DB group managing director was produced in court
following expiry of his four-day CBI custody. Balwa was
arrested on February 8 in Mumbai and had been flown to Delhi
on a transit remand.
Balwa was the fourth person to be arrested for his
alleged involvement in the 2G scam, which, as per the CBI, has
caused a pecuniary loss of Rs 22,000 crore to the state
exchequer.

Raja is alleged to have manipulated rules to favour
some telecom companies including Swan Telecom and Unitech
Private Limited in allocation of spectrum at throwaway prices.

He was arrested along with former Telecom Secretary
Siddharth Behura and his former personal secretary R K
Chandolia, who were sent to Tihar Jail on Feb 8.

Chandolia and Behura are presently in judicial custody
till February 22.

The CBI had also questioned ADAG chairman Anil Ambani
on Wednesday at its headquarters, confronting him with Raja
and Balwa, amid allegations that his group received favours
from Raja in getting dual technology and a role for Reliance
Telecom in promoting Swan Telecom. ADAG has refuted the
allegations.

PTI

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