The CBI investigations into the 2G scam got another shot in the arm after the investigators recorded the statement of another prime witness in the case before a magistrate.
Former telecom minister and prime accused A Raja’s former additional private secretary (APS) Aseervatham Achary was the first one to sing against the minister and now a key department of telecommunications (DoT) official Ramjee Singh Kushvaha has given statement before a magistrate.
The statements recorded under section 164 of the criminal procedure code (CrPC) are hard to retract and admissible as evidence before court.
According to sources, Kushvaha has said Shahid Usman Balwa-promoted Swan Telecom was allotted spectrum in the Delhi circle without sorting out the issue of priority for spectrum allocation amongst the successful unified access service (UAS) licence holders and dual technology licence holders.
According to Kushvaha, the issue of inter-se priority was critical in Delhi circle as the availability of spectrum in this circle was insufficient.
According to investigators, the principal of first-cum-first-served was not followed for allocation of spectrum by the department of telecom under A Raja.
According to sources, Kushvaha had told a meeting, chaired by then telecom secretary and now 2G scam accused Sidharth Behura, it will not be possible to process applications for allotment of spectrum where it is not adequate.
Kushvaha was joint wireless advisor in the wireless planning and coordination wing of the DoT.
The meeting took place in the middle of August 2008 and the case of Delhi circle was examined. It was also pointed out in the meeting that the issue of priority has to be sorted out first before allotting spectrum.
Though, it was decided in the meeting that the opinion of the solicitor general would be sought, no such thing was done. On August 25, 2008, the process for allotment of spectrum in Delhi circle was initiated. On the same day, Sidharth Behura recommended that spectrum be allotted to Swam Telecom. A Raja approved the allotment to Swan on the very next day.
Judicial custody of Raja extended
A Delhi court has extended the judicial custody of former telecom minister A Raja and three others, arrested for their alleged role in the 2G-spectrum scam, till April 2. The same day the CBI would file its first chargesheet.
Special CBI Judge OP Saini passed the order extending their remand after the accused were produced before the court through video conferencing.
“All the accused are remanded to judicial custody till April 2,” the court said, extending their judicial remand. The CBI, which was to file the chargesheet in the case on March 31, had earlier sought a two-day extension from the Supreme Court.