CBI chief appears before PAC on 2G

Shares agencys findings in the case

The CBI which is investigating the 2-G case has covered a substantial ground in several aspects of  irregularities  in the process of allocation and alleged payment of the bribe money paid to politicians and their associates, according to sources. CBI chief shared part of agency’s findings with the PAC.

Under  the monitoring of  the Supreme Court, the agency has to file a chargesheet by March 31 and therefore it is expected to question Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunadnidhi’s daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi before the end of this month.

The CBI has , so far,  arrested former telecom minister A Raja, his key aide R K Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behuria and DB Realty’s promoter Shahid Usman Balwa.

MK wife’s quizzing

However, Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal is unlikely to be questioned since she is believed to be a “sleeping partner” without much knowledge of the transactions related to the scam. Kanimozhi and Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal own a stake in Kalaignar TV,  a channel, which has allegedly received funds from DB Realty,  a front company for Swan Telecom, which was reportedly favoured by Raja to get the telecom licence.

The CBI has already carried out searches at Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar’s residence at Chennai.  The PAC, headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, is likely to call Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister T K A Nair, Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar, CBI Director A P Singh as also corporate lobbyist Niira Radia over the next few weeks.

The committee will also call senior journalists whose names figured in the infamous tapes involving politicians, industrialists and journalists besides Editors of Outlook and Open magazines which had published those tapes.

The CBI chief on Thursday met Joshi. Sources said it was a prelude to his possible appearance before the Committee prior to March 31, by when the agency has to file a chargesheet against former Telecom Minister A Raja. Outlook Editor Vinod Mehta and Open Editor Manu Joseph have been called on March 14, sources said.

PAC is a constitutional parliamentary panel which  is scrutinising the report of  Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) which has put a loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore in the process of 2-G allocation. In his first deposition before the PAC, the CBI Director is understood to have put the loss of revenue to around Rs 50,000 crore. Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibial had earlier claimed that there was no real loss of money in the allocation of air waives.

Former telecom secretaries SS Behura and DS Mathur and former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chairman Pradip Baijal have already deposed before the PAC.  Former telecom minister during NDA’s time Arun Shourie who was questioned by the CBI may also be deposing before the PAC.

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