Raja formed links as environment minister | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Raja formed links as environment minister

The CBI chargesheet has revealed that former telecom minister A Raja’s association with two other accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam — director of Unitech Satish Chandra and managing director of Swan Telecom Vinod Goenka, goes back to the days when Raja held the environment and forests ministry.

delhi Updated: Apr 04, 2011 02:40 IST
Sumit Saxena

The CBI chargesheet has revealed that former telecom minister A Raja’s association with two other accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam — director of Unitech Satish Chandra and managing director of Swan Telecom Vinod Goenka, goes back to the days when Raja held the environment and forests ministry.

Raja also handpicked RK Chandolia and Siddharath Behura as confidants to set into motion corrupt practices during allocation of licenses of 2G-spectrum.

The CBI, in its chargesheet, said, “Raja was familiar with accused Vinod Goenka, Satish Chandra and Shahid Balwa (director Swan Telecom) in context of various clearances of ministry of environment and forests to various real estate projects of their companies—DB Realty and Unitech, respectively, operating in real estate projects, during the tenure of accused Raja as minister of environment and forests.”

According to the investigating agency, when Raja took over as telecom minister in May 2007, he deliberately brought in Siddhartha Behura and RK Chandolia into the telecom ministry, as telecom secretary and personal secretary to facilitate favoritism during allocation of 2G-spectrum licenses.

“Raja wanted Behura and Chandolia to work for him, as they did while preparing documentation during his tenure as environment minister; giving green signal to real estate projects,” said a CBI official.

With Raja at the helm of affairs in telecom ministry — Unitech and DB Realty (which became Swan Telecom) seized the opportunity to establish a firm footing in telecommunication business, the agency said.

The agency claimed this deep-rooted nexus between Raja, his close aides and the real estate corporate honchos spawned the 2G-spectrum scam, potentially India’s largest loss to exchequer.

The investigations have revealed these real estate corporate firms were aided by Raja in preparing a “legitimate” application for allocation of telecom licences.

“The entire police of Department of Telecommunication was compromised to favour selected real estate companies,” said a CBI official familiar with investigations.

According to the agency, all information related to eligibility to perform as a telecom company, was fabricated by Chandolia and Behura.