CBI grills Raja on kin's role

Ex-minister cross examined on Radias disclosures

CBI grills Raja on kin's role

The probe agency sought Raja’s answers for the alleged role of his family in some of the companies which have bagged telecom licences during his tenure in the cabinet. 

The DMK MP was questioned for more than five hours at the CBI headquarters in the presence of officials of the Enforcement Department of the Ministry of Finance. The CBI, which summoned the former minister under Section 160 Cr PC, grilled him on Friday for more than eight hours.

On Saturday, the sleuths were said to have questioned him over the issue of advancing dates for allocation of spectrum and on the role of his relatives in some of the companies which allegedly acted as a front for certain telecom firms which were allotted the spectrum between September 2007 and January 2008.

Business interest

Informed sources said the CBI cross-examined him about the facts given by lobbyist Nira Radia. The CBI also asked about his taped conversation with Radia and his own business interest. Sources said a letter rogatory (LR) would be sent to three countries, including Singapore, by the CBI to know about the financial trail in the 2G scam as the agency has alleged that some of the relatives of the former minister were associated with the case.

Raja was asked to clarify some contents in certain documents seized by the agency during its raids on Department of Telecom offices in October last year after registering a case against unknown officers of DoT and telecom companies.

The CBI and ED already grilled Radia and also tried to find out whether she had made the payoff to certain key persons in the government to get favours from the Telecom Ministry towards her clients.

Though Raja refused make any comments after the questioning, sources in the CBI said that the agency may again summon him in a couple of days during which he would be confronted with some more questions and documents recovered from the computers seized during the raids conducted by the agency earlier.

The Comptroller Auditor General in its audit report had made the startling revelation that 85 companies, which were allotted the spectrum in January 2008, had got the radio waves in a fraudulent manner by submitting fictitious documents. 

Raja was telecom minister from May 18, 2007, got re-elected as a Member of the 15th Lok Sabha and continued as Telecom Minister from May 31, 2009, till November 14, 2010, before he tendered his resignation.

The Supreme Court has asked the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to submit status reports on their investigations into the 2G case to it by February 10, when the case will come up for further hearing. The CBI in its FIR had mentioned the loss as Rs 22,000 crore based on the findings of CVC which had referred the case to it.

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