CBI announces arrest of Raja, aides

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Wednesday formally said that former union communications minister and DMK leader Andimuthu Raja and his former aides R.K Chandolia and Siddharth Behura were arrested in the controversial allocation of airwaves for second generation (2G) telecom services.

The CBI has today (Wednesday) arrested the former union minister for communications A. Raja and his former aides, private secretary R.K Chandolia and Siddharth Behura, former telecom secretary, based on the facts disclosed so far in the investigation regarding their role in the allocation of letter of intent and resultant UAS licences and spectrum to certain companies ahead of others in violation of established guidelines and procedures, CBI Deputy Inspector General Anurag told reporters.

The agency had earlier registered a case against unknown officials of the department of telecommunication and unknown private persons and companies and others on the allegaions of conspiracy and abuse of official position in order to give pecuniary advantage to the applicant companies.

Raja was forced to resign Nov 7 last year after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) indicted him in the spectrum allocation scam and for causing losses of between Rs.58,000 crore ($12.8 billion) and Rs.1.76 lakh crore ($40 billion) to the exchequer.

This particular case pertains to the allocation of spectrum to some new telecom companies in 2008, allegedly ignoring the set norms and procedures.

The former minister was alleged to have misused his office and given away spectrum at below market rates.

The issue crippled the entire winter session of parliament as the opposition refused to give up its demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe.

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