CBI again questions Niira Radia in 2G scam

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

NEW DELHI - As part of its probe into the 2G spectrum allocation scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday again questioned corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, whose tapped conversations with ministers, journalists and industrialists were recorded by the Income Tax department.

Sources in the CBI said Radia was grilled at the agency headquarters in south Delhi in the afternoon.

The CBI had searched Radia’s residence and the official premises of her public relations firm Vaishnavi Communications Dec 21. She was then 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 Enforcement Directorate, which investigates foreign exchange-related violations, has asked Radia to submit more documents in support of her explanation of some of her dealings.

The multi-agency probe into the irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation is being monitored by the Supreme Court. It has asked the CBI and the ED to submit status reports on their probes by Feb 10, when the case will come up for further hearing.

In its report to parliament, the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India last year said the spectrum allocation at under-valued prices in 2008 resulted in a loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.

The CBI is investigating the role of Radia and others in relation to the 2G spectrum scam.

Investigating agencies are examining if any illegal payments were made by Radia or her firms in the 2G scam, and if she has a stake in any of the companies that won 2G licences in 2008.

Radia runs public relations and lobbying businesses that include Vaishnavi Corporate Communications, Noesis Strategic Consulting Services, Vitcom Consulting and Neucom Consulting.

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