Radia role under serious scrutiny

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has made the tapes available to the CBI. In its efforts to trace clandestine transfer of money linked with tax evasion, the board had taped Radia’s conversations with an array of industrialists, politicians, brokers, print and electronic media personalities and others capable of wielding influence.

The conversations were taped over an unspecified stretch of time (at least more than one year) and transferred some of them to the CBI which was probing the spectrum allocation scam. The CBI had registered an FIR in the case on October 21, 2009 and requested CBDT to pass on relevant tapes to it.

Fresh tape

According to sources, a fresh batch of  taped conversations “may have now revealed transactions of money” involving Radia.

The bureau had questioned her in the 2G spectrum allocation case and given her a clean chit. She then became 44th of a total of 125 CBI witnesses in the case in which former Telecom Minister A Raja and eight others have been chargesheeted. “Radia’s conversation with individuals involved in the money transactions may change her status as witness,” sources said.

Radia has been the chief of Vaishnavi Corporate Consultants Pvt Ltd, Neosis Strategic Consulting, Vitcom and Neucom Consulting.

Vitcom has been handling the business of one of the top four electronic channels in India while Neucomm was understood to have been set up for the purpose of looking after the affairs of one the India’s top industrialist having interests in petrochemicals.

Vaishnavi handles the media affairs as also environment management for Tata Group, Unitech and other corporate clients.

Neosis was headed by  none other than ex-Telecom Regulatory Authority chairman Pradeep Baijal. Several other influential and retired bureaucrats from different key infrastructure sectors were employed by her.

Radia had also appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to explain her role in the allocation of 2G spectrum which led to a perceived loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the national exchequer.

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