Raja remanded to 4 more days of CBI custody

Last Updated: Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 19:30

New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister A Raja
was on Thursday remanded to CBI custody for four more days by a
special CBI court along with Swan Telecom promoter Shahid
Usman Balwa for questioning in connection with their role in
the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

"Considering the serious nature and facts of the case,
further recovery of the documents and the need for further
confrontation of the accused with each other and documents as
well as their consequent interrogation, I find merit in the
submission of the investigating agency seeking grant of four
days police custody remand of both the accused", said Special
Judge O P Saini, while remanding the duo to be in CBI custody
till February 14.

"Prayer is allowed. Both the accused are remanded to
police custody till February 14", the judge said.

Raja was arrested on February 2 and remanded to CBI
custody initially for five days the next day.

On February 8, he was again remanded to CBI`s custody
for two more days after the agency told the court that he was
not cooperating during questioning and was being evasive.

CBI sought four days of custodial interrogation of
Raja and Balwa, saying it is necessary for further probe.
Balwa`s arrest was necessary as he had been evading the
agency, it said.

The agency counsel Akhilesh said the custody of both
the accused was required for their confrontation with each
other and that with various documents seized by the CBI
during the probe.

It further said Balwa was not giving proper answers to
questions concerning the share holding in Swan telecom and he
has been hiding facts from the agency.

"He is a highly influential person", said the CBI
counsel, seeking the remand for the duo.

Counsel for both Raja and Balwa opposed the CBI plea
with latter`s counsel Vijay Kumar Aggarwal contending that his
client has appeared at the CBI office on 27 occasions for
interrogation.

He added if the accused is cooperating in the probe,
there is no need for his arrest and custodial interrogation.
Balwa`s counsel also argued that a person cannot be
arrested unless the offence is of grievous nature and unless
it is necessary to recover some incriminating material
necessary for investigation.

He also said a general statement that the accused
can give further information cannot form the basis to remand
him to police custody.

Asserting that his client has been cooperating with
the investigating agency, Aggarwal added that Balwa was called
to appear at the CBI office on February 6 and 7 when his
mother had been admitted in Lilavati Hospital suffering from
cardiac ailment.

He said the investigating agency has obtained
non-bailable warrant against Balwa by concealing the fact that
he is cooperating with the investigating agency.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 19:30

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