Raja to depose from jail via video

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

NEW DELHI - Former communications minister A. Raja was Tuesday exempted from going from Tihar Jail to court for hearings in the spectrum scam. He will attend the trial through video-conference.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special judge O.P. Saini said proceedings shall be conducted through video-conferencing from the prison Thursday. Raja would not have to physically go to court.

The former minister Monday moved an application in court seeking conduct of court proceedings from Tihar Jail.

Raja’s counsel Ramesh Gupta cited threats to the DMK leader to make the request.

He added that the facility of video linkage was available both in Patiala House district courts as well as in Tihar Jail.

He said Raja faced threat from other prisoners who travel with him to the court in jail van.

The disgraced DMK leader was arrested here Feb 2 by the CBI for his role in the controversial allocation of spectrum (airwaves) for second generation (2G) telecom services, three months after he was forced to resign as communications minister.

According to the probe agency, the allocation of airwaves resulted in a loss of at least Rs.22,000 crore to the exchequer. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India had pegged the notional loss at Rs.1.76 lakh crore, a figure that the government had contested.

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