Chargesheets against Raja, 2 telcos by March 31
Chargesheets will be filed against former telecom minister A Raja and two companies by March 31 for their alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum allocation case, the Central Bureau of Investigation told the Supreme Court on Wednesday, which asked the agency to appoint a suitable senior advocate as special public prosecutor in the trial.
In its latest status report filed in a sealed envelope before a bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly, the CBI submitted that many new facts have come out during the probe into the scam.
"The main charge sheet will be filed against A Raja and two companies by March 31. This is only the beginning and many people and companies would also be chargesheeted later on," senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for the investigating agency, said.
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Image: Former Telecom Minister A Raja
'CBI also probing land deal between Tatas and DMK'
Venugopal told the court that many people, including the CEO of a telecom company, have been examined by the agency and Letters Rogatory have been sent to some countries for probing the money trail.
He said some progress had been made in case of Mauritius. He submitted that the agency is also probing a land deal in Chennai involving Tatas and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party.
The court, while going through the status report, referred to a company and asked, "Is it the same company which has association with Vodafone and (it) was also mentioned in the ED report?" To that, Venugopal replied, "Yes".
Image: DMK chief M Karunanidhi
Photographs: Rediff archives
Submit Radia phone transcripts, SC tells CBI
The court, in its order, directed the investigating agency to place before it transcripts of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia's telephonic conversation tapped by the income tax department on the next date of hearing on March 29.
It also asked the CBI and the ED to place the probe reports before it on that day. Meanwhile, the Centre informed the bench that it has got the letter from chief justice of Delhi high court who has agreed to set up an exclusive court for holding trial in the 2G case.
Attorney General Ghulam E Vahanvati said that appropriate notification would be issued by the Centre on or before March 29 so that chargesheet filed by CBI could be taken cognisance of by the court.
Image: Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia
'2G scam links traced to at least six countries'
The court was hearing a petition filed by an NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, on whose plea it had ordered the CBI probe.
The court is also monitoring the investigation in the 2G case which allegedly caused a huge loss to public exchequer. The ED had on Tuesday informed the apex court that multi-crore foreign transactions relating to the 2G spectrum scam have been traced to at least six countries.
While submitting its latest status report on the probe into the scam, the agency had mentioned that it is seeking the help of authorities in foreign countries in tracking the sources of money.
Venugopal, while also appearing for the ED, had informed the bench that Letters Rogatory have been sent to Singapore, Cyprus, Jersey and Virgin Islands in connection with the scam and that similar requests were being sent to two more countries.
'There is a violation of law of land'
He had said 31 companies have so far been summoned and statements of 26 firms have been recorded.
He had told the court that some hawala operators were involved in the scam. Their premises were raided and they were questioned by the ED, he said.
The counsel, however, had not revealed the names of individuals and companies mentioned in the report. The ED, in its report, had mentioned that after granting of license, a person sold his equity in the company and made huge monetary gains which have been traced to Mauritius.
It had said that one person had paid Rs 100 crore for liasioning. The apex court, after going through the report, had said that prima facie there seems to be violation of the law.
"Networks are vast. Their connections are in many countries and prima facie there is a violation of law of land," the court had said.
It had asked the ED about how many people are involved in investigating the scam, to which the agency had replied that four teams were working to crack the case.