CBI seeks fresh charges against 2G scam accused

The application filed before  Special CBI Judge O P Saini sought framing of charges against former Telecom Minister A Raja, his former personal secretary R K Chandolia and former Telecom secretary Siddharth Behura under section 409 (criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The remaining 14 accused, including DMK MP Kanimozhi, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa, were also sought to be tried under S 409 by making them a party to criminal conspiracy hatched by Raja and two other public servants.

All the accused, if held guilty, would face life imprisonment sentence along with fine.

The accused were earlier charge sheeted for the offences which could carry only seven-year jail term with fine as the maximum punishment.

The relatives of the accused seemed shocked over the development and some of them even broke down in the courtroom.

“It is submitted the facts, circumstances, allegations and evidence on record make out a charge under section 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant) of the IPC in addition to the offences mentioned in the charge sheet,” CBI’s application said.

Accusing Raja, Chandolia and Behura of criminal breach of trust while acting as public servants, the application said they had a dominion over valuable 2G spectrum in their respective capacities which they doled out violating the extant norms and policies to benefit other accused.

The judge, after taking the application into record, asked the accused to file thier responses by September 30.

“Thus, accused Raja, Behura and Chandolia have committed an offence punishable under section 409 IPC and all other accused have committed an offence punishable under section 409 read with section 120 B IPC. With the cognisance of this court (they) should be charged accordingly,” it said.

The accused flayed the move of the CBI alleging that the probe agency wanted to delay the proceedings in the matter.

Probe into Maran’s ‘home exchange’ likely

The CBI is likely to file a preliminary enquiry against unknown persons and start a formal probe into allegations of installing hundreds of telephone lines at the residence of former Telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran in Chennai that were illegally linked with a television channel owned by his brother, DHNS reports from New Delhi.

These 323 telephone connections installed at Maran's house were allegedly used by his brother Kalanithi Maran, managing director of Sun TV Network. Sources said these telephone lines connecting the Boat House residence of Maran with the office of Sun TV through a dedicated underground cable were in the name of BSNL general manager. The Integrated Services Digital Network connections installed during Maran’s tenure as telectom minister (2004-07) are expensive lines that are capable of carrying huge data and facilitating faster transmission of TV programmes.

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