2G scam: CBI raids Raja and his associates (Second Lead)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

NEW DELHI/CHENNAI - The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Wednesday searched the Delhi and Tamil Nadu homes of former telecom minister A. Raja as well as the premises of four of his associates in connection with the 2G spectrum probe, an official said.

The raids were conducted at Raja’s 2-A Motilal Nehru Marg residence in Delhi and a few places in Tamil Nadu.

“A CBI team reached the Delhi residence of Raja at around 7 a.m. Raids are still on both at the Delhi and Tamil Nadu residences of Raja,” a CBI official told IANS.

The official said Raja is likely to be questioned soon in the scam.

Raids were also conducted at the residences of Raja’s former private secretary R.K. Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behuria, member telecom K. Sridhar and deputy director general, telecom, A.K. Srivastava.

While the CBI officials in Chennai told IANS that they had no information on the raids, a police official in Raja’s native Perambalur said CBI officials had been raiding his residence there since morning.

Meanwhile, the AIADMK - the major opposition party in Tamil Nadu - has demanded Raja’s arrest under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Saying the raids were a bit late, AIADMK MP V. Maitreyan said the former minister should be arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Raja was forced to resign last month after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) indicted him in the spectrum allocation scam and for causing losses between Rs.58,000 crore ($12.8 billion) and Rs.1.76 lakh crore ($40 billion) to the exchequer.

He is alleged to have sold spectrum licenses at rates much lower than the market.

The 2G spectrum saga had crippled parliament since Nov 10 as the opposition refused to give up its demand for a parliamentary probe into the scam.

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