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'SC pressure resulted in Raja's arrest'

By Sheela Bhatt
February 02, 2011 16:59 IST
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Former telecommunication minister A Raja has been arrested because the Central Bureau of Investigation has got some evidence of money changing hands involving the minister, says Prashant Bhushan, lawyer whose public interest petition before Supreme Court in the 2G spectrum scam has led, ultimately, to Raja's arrest.

Bhushan told rediff.com, "The CBI has acted under pressure of Supreme Court because the case is coming up again before the judges on February 10."

Bhushan added, "The arrest was long overdue since the first information report was filed in 2G spectrum case in October, 2009. Even after the CAG published the report indicting Raja's ministry in September 2010, the CBI didn't act. Probably in last four months the CBI got some evidence against Raja necessitating his arrest."

Bhushan further explained, "Swan Telecom, promoted by Reliance, got the licence for a song. The company was handed over to a Mauritius-based company. It must have been linked to Raja."

In spite, of the CAG's report linking Reliance and Swan Telecom and its subsequent fishy sale the CBI did nothing to quiz Raja, Bhushan said.

He added, "The CBI was dragging the case. Because of monitoring by the Supreme Court, they raided the places connected to the 2G spectrum case and interrogated Raja. Again, before February 10 they had to show that they are taking action so they have arrested him."

A senior lawyer linked to A Raja told rediff.com that Raja had co-operated with the CBI, he was not going run away from country and there was, so far, no evidence shown to him by the CBI so they were not expecting his arrest. Raja's supporters claim that the CBI's arrest is not strictly on legal grounds but had a political angle attached to it.

However, Bhushan says, "I don't agree. The CBI has clearly acted under the Supreme Court pressure. I think, they have got strong evidence of corruption involving Raja."

Raja's supporters are confident that he will get the bail soon because neither he is running away nor trying to influence the investigation.

Bhushan says, "I can't say if he will get bail or not but normally in such a case, the accused should be kept in jail for 90 days till the CBI files the charge-sheet. If CBI fails to submit charge-sheet within 90 days of his arrest, only then his bail is understandable."

While Raja's arrest is crucial and to take the issue to its logical conclusion, Bhushan thinks that it's very important that the Supreme Court agrees to monitor the case with help of a couple of experts. In fact, Bhushan's original plea is about the monitoring of the 2G spectrum case only.

Bhushan added, "I am not sure to what extent the Supreme Court will be able to monitor the case and how."

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