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2G: Raja prefers to wait in cross examining key witness

September 03, 2012 20:57 IST

Former Telecom Minister A Raja chose not to cross-examine today a key Central Bureau of Inmvestigation witness' testimony in the 2G spectrum case in a Delhi court saying he would wait till another accused to confront the witness.

Allowing Raja's 'desire', the court said it will go ahead with the proceeding and give chance to another accused and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa to cross examine A K Srivastava, a former deputy director general of the Department of Telecom.

"A K Srivastava recorded in examination-in-chief. His examination-in-chief has concluded today itself and his cross-examination has been started by Vijay Aggarwal, advocate on behalf of accused Shahid Usman Balwa as accused A Raja desires to start his cross-examination after the cross-examination on behalf of this accused is over," Special CBI Judge O P Saini said.

Raja was given the opportunity to cross examine Srivastava after CBI prosecutor A K Singh completed his recording of evidence which had started on July 31.

The Dravida Munetra Kazhagam member of Parliament, however, declined the offer and said he would begin his defence after Balwa would complete Srivastava's cross-examination.

Srivastava had testified that Raja was the 'final authority' to take decisions on policy matters. According to the CBI chargesheet, there was a loss of over Rs 30,000 crore to the exchequer in the allocation of 2G spectrum in 2008 during the tenure of A Raja.

Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, along with others, are facing trial for various offences like criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and faking documents under the Indian Penal  Code and for the offences of abusing official position, getting bribe and criminal misconduct by public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.
PTI
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