CBI grills Radia in Chennai land deal | delhi | Hindustan Times
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CBI grills Radia in Chennai land deal

delhi Updated: May 19, 2011 22:37 IST
Rajesh Ahuja
Rajesh Ahuja
Hindustan Times
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Tracking the money trail in the 2G scam, the CBI once again reached the door of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia to question her in connection with a land deal that has come under the scanner. The plot of land in question is with a Tata group company Voltas on lease.

"We have always reposed faith in investigating agencies. We have and will continue to extend all cooperation to them," said a spokesperson of Radia's company Vaishnavi Corporate Communications.

After questioning Radia a few days ago, the CBI grilled a Chennai-based chartered accountant Ratnam and businessman S Sarvanan on May 16 with regard to the same deal.

Both are considered close to DMK Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi and her mother Rajathi Ammal, the third wife of DMK chief M Karunanidhi. According to sources, the agency might question Rajathi Ammal as well. A final decision will be taken very soon.

An intercepted conversation has come under the scanner of CBI where the investigators suspect that participants in the conversation are Ratnam, Radia and Rajathi Ammal and they were discussing some pending issue about the same land.

This conversation is part of around 5,800 tapes of Radia and her associates intercepted by the Income Tax authorities and handed over to the CBI. Radia is a witness in the 2G scam.

Investigators suspect that Ratnam and Sarvanan played a role in the sale of land, which is on Chennai's Anna Salai Marg and according to market estimates worth around Rs 200 crore.

According to sources, the land was owned by more than 15 persons, and in 2008 all of them gave the power of attorney to Sarvanan. Later, the land was sold to Shangkalpam Industries allegedly much below its market price just before the 2009 general elections.

In fact, Rajathi Ammal had issued a statement distancing her from the land deal, when the issue had cropped up late last year.

In her statement Rajathi had stated that Sarvanan used be an employee of Royal Enterprises, a company owned by her but later became a real estate dealer.

She said Sarvanan had obtained a power of attorney from the owners of the land on which Voltas was operating on lease and sold it to Dr Shanmuganathan, a Malaysian businessman.