Raja 'hiding facts' : CBI tells court
Former telecom minister A Raja and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, arrested for their role in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, were "evasive" and "hiding real facts" during questioning, the CBI told a Delhi court on Friday.delhi Updated: Feb 18, 2011 20:12 IST
Former telecom minister A Raja and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, arrested for their role in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, were "evasive" and "hiding real facts" during questioning, the CBI told a Delhi court on Friday.
"They (Raja and Balwa) were evasive in answering the questions (during interrogation) and were hiding the real facts in the light of the facts and circumstances of the case regarding criminal conspiracy, trail of money etc," CBI said before Special Judge O P Saini.
Remanding Balwa to judicial custody till March 3, the judge sent him to Tihar Jail, where Raja too was lodged on Thursday following completion of his 14-day CBI custody.
"It is submitted (by the CBI) that investigation is not yet complete and the accused (Balwa) may be remanded to judicial custody. Accused is remanded to judicial custody till March 3," the judge directed.
47-year-old Raja was arrested on February two on charges of criminal conspiracy and under the Prevention of Corruption Act in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation scam. Later, the charges of cheating and forgery were also slapped against them.
The court directed the jail authorities to consider Balwa's plea for permission to have home-made food, carry medicines and special orthopaedics mattress and pillow, as per the jail manual.
"Balwa has moved three applications submitting that he may be allowed home cooked food, to carry medicines as well as special orthopaedics mattress and pillow as he is suffering from back pain.
"Jail Superintendent is directed to consider these applications as per jail manual," the judge said.
The agency said more witnesses are to be examined and some more documents are yet to be recovered as the documents submitted by a telecom company to Department of Telecommunications for allocation of spectrum, on the basis of which their priority was to be determined, could not be traced yet.
"Keeping in view the veracity, seriousness and importance of the matter, Balwa is required to be kept in judicial custody as there is every likelihood of tampering of documents and his winning over or threatening witnesses," CBI said while seeking judicial remand of the accused.
The DB group managing director was produced in court following expiry of his four-day CBI custody. Balwa was arrested on February 8 in Mumbai and had been flown to Delhi on a transit remand.
Balwa was the fourth person to be arrested for his alleged involvement in the 2G scam, which, as per the CBI, has caused a pecuniary loss of Rs 22,000 crore to the state exchequer.
Raja is alleged to have manipulated rules to favour some telecom companies including Swan Telecom and Unitech Private Limited in allocation of spectrum at throwaway prices.
He was arrested along with former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura and his former personal secretary R K Chandolia, who were sent to Tihar Jail on Feb 8.
Chandolia and Behura are presently in judicial custody till February 22.
The CBI had also questioned ADAG chairman Anil Ambani on Wednesday at its headquarters, confronting him with Raja and Balwa, amid allegations that his group received favours from Raja in getting dual technology and a role for Reliance Telecom in promoting Swan Telecom. ADAG has refuted the allegations.