Radia quizzed by CBI, Raja next (Second Lead)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

NEW DELHI - A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team Tuesday questioned corporate lobbyist Niira Radia at her house here in connection with the 2G spectrum scam. Former communications minister A. Raja is expected to be quizzed later this week, CBI sources said.

A team of sleuths, accompanied by women officers, reached Radia’s Chhatarpur home in south Delhi. She was questioned at her residence as, according to the rules, statements of “witnesses” under the age of 15 years or women have to be recorded at their residence.

The grilling went on till late afternoon and on the basis of Radia’s recorded conversations, the CBI inquired about her relationship with real estate company Unitech and other 2G spectrum beneficiaries, the sources said. She was also quizzed on the role she played in influencing the spectrum allotment.

Radia’s firm Vaishnavi Corporate Communication told media houses: “We are cooperating with the investigative agency and will continue to extend full cooperation.”

The CBI has also summoned former communications minister Andimuthu Raja for questioning. He is likely to be quizzed later this week, CBI sources said.

Raja had told the CBI Monday that he could appear at their office only two days later as he was busy with personal work.

He added: “I am not an accused and there is no question of my applying for anticipatory bail.”

On Monday, former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chief Pradeep Baijal was summoned for questioning in connection with the 2G spectrum scam.

The trio’s premises were also raided by the investigative agency last week.

Baijal was the TRAI boss between 2004 and 2008. He joined Radia’s firm in 2009. The Enforcement Directorate too has grilled Radia about her role in the spectrum allocation.

Raja resigned as communications minister last month after reports that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had indicted him in the 2G spectrum saga for causing massive losses to the national exchequer while allocating the airwaves to telecom firms in 2008.

According to some media houses that published transcripts of Radia’s leaked tapes, she had purportedly lobbied for Raja to retain his communications portfolio after the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was voted back to power in May 2009.

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