Court extends A. Raja’s CBI custody

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

NEW DELHI - A Delhi court Tuesday allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to keep former communications minister A. Raja in its custody for two more days so the agency could quiz him further over the 2G spectrum scam.

Raja was brought to the Patiala House courts complex at the end of his five-day CBI custody, and after the hearing CBI judge O.P. Saini granted the agency his custody till Feb 10.

His two aides - Siddharth Behura and R.K. Chandolia - have been sent to 14 days’ judicial custody.

The CBI had wanted Raja in its custody for four more days to question him in the 2G spectrum scam. However, the agency said it did not want further custody of his two aides.

The CBI submitted before the judge that Raja was the main accused in the 2G spectrum case.

Opposing the CBI, Raja’s advocate Ramesh Gupta said the conspiracy should have been unearthed and the investigation report submitted to the court after five days’ custody.

Gupta said: In the CBI application, I do not find any such report on which the CBI should get any further custody of my client A. Raja. In five days, the CBI has only confronted Raja with two of his aides. Therefore, no further custody should be granted as the Supreme Court is also monitoring this case.

He said the CBI should be allowed to keep Raja only if there was specific information or document to confront him with.

The CBI countered him strongly: We have a case diary and a status report of the investigation, but it is not necessary to be given to the counsel or the accused. Therefore, we want his custody. As we are investigating the matter, we have all power to keep Raja in our custody to unearth all the conspiracy in the 2G scam.”

Raja, his secretary Chandolia and former telecom secretary Behura were sent to CBI custody for five days by a special court here Feb 3. They were arrested Feb 2 over the allocation of airwaves for second generation phone services that the probe agency said caused a loss of Rs.22,000 crore to the national exchequer.

Raja is alleged to have sold spectrum licenses at rates much lower than the market. He was asked to resign Nov 14 last year after the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) indicted him in the scam and for causing the nation huge losses.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

will not be displayed