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2G scam: CBI grills Raja for 8 hours

Last updated on: December 24, 2010 19:01 IST

2G scam: CBI grills Raja for 8 hours

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Former Telecom Minister A Raja was on Friday questioned for over eight hours by the CBI on alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation, over a year after the agency registered a case in this connection.

47-year-old Raja, who had flown in from Chennai on Wednesday, appeared before the agency headquarters at 10.30 am after he was summoned under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

He was "questioned in relation to the case registered into the allocation of unified access service licenses," CBI DIG and spokesperson Bineeta Thakur told media persons, adding that the process was continuing.

Raja, who had earlier expressed his inability to appear before the agency, is likely to be questioned at length on the circumstances leading to spectrum allocation, which has been criticised severely by the Central Vigilance Commission and the Comptroller and Auditor General.

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The CBI also quizzed him on the tapped conversation he had with corporate lobbyist Niira Radia about allegedly favouring certain telecom companies, the sources said.

Raja was forced to resign on November 14 in the wake of the CAG report, which held that the spectrum allocation at undervalued prices resulted in a notional loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.

He was also questioned on the issue of advancing dates for allocation of spectrum and on the role of his relatives in some of the companies which allegedly acted as a front for certain telecom firms which got spectrum between September 2007 and January 2008.

Raja got the telecom portfolio on May 18, 2007 and again got re-elected as a Member of the 15th Lok Sabha and continued as Telecom Minister from May 31, 2009 till November 14, this year when he tendered his resignation.



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The Supreme Court has asked the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to submit status reports on their investigations into the 2G case to it by February 10, when the case will come up for further hearing.

The CBI in its FIR had mentioned the loss as Rs 22,000 crore based on the findings of CVC, which had referred the case to it.

Radia was earlier this week quizzed by the CBI at her South Delhi farmhouse. Radia, who was questioned for four hours, came under the scanner after her tapped telephonic conversations with various influential people, including industrialists, politicians and journalists became public.

The CBI has also questioned former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chief Pradip Baijal, a 1966 batch IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, and former Telecom Secretaries Siddarth Behura and D S Mathur in connection with the case.

The CBI searched the premises of Raja, Baijal and Radia earlier this month.



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