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2G scam: CBI wants stringent charges against Raja, others

September 26, 2011 12:56 IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday moved a designated special court for slapping the fresh charge of breach of trust by public servants against former Telecom Minister A Raja and two others in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

Special Public Prosecutor U U Lalit filed an application before Special CBI Judge O P Saini, saying a case of criminal breach of trust under Section 409 of the Indian Penal Code is "certainly made out" against Raja, his former private secretary R K Chandolia and former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura.

The CBI plea said besides Raja and two former officials, all others, including Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam member of Parliament Kanimozhi and three telecom firms should be charged under section 409 (criminal  breach) read with 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

"It is submitted that accused 1, 2, and 3 (Raja, Behura and Chandolia) were public servants having a dominion over valuable 2G spectrum in their respective capacities as public ervants," said the CBI application.

"The said accused public servants in pursuance of conspiracy with other accused dishonestly disposed of the valuable 2G spectrum illegally and in violation of the existing policies and the eligibility criterion in order to confer wrongful gain on accused no 4 (Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa), 5 (Vinod Goenka), 6 (Swan Telecom), 7 (MD of Unitech Sanjay Chandra) and 8 (Unitech Wireless Tamil Nadu Ltd)," the CBI told the court.

"Thus, accused Raja, Behura and Chandolia have committed an offence punishable under section 409 IPC and all other accused have committed an offence punishable under section 409 read with section 120 B IPC. With the cognisance of this court (they) should be charged accordingly," the application said.

"It is a common mistake to confuse a mere 'association' with a definition of an 'associate company'. Companies may have common interests, common business strategies, financial dealings, business pacts and understandings. It is common knowledge that in the telecom sector, several companies enter into business arrangements for technical support and strategies such as sharing of towers.

"To that extent, they certainly have an 'association' but by no means they can be termed as being 'associates' of one another on that ground. The true test, therefore, is to apply the shareholding test," the report said.

The CBI has been alleging that Swan Telecom was an associate firm of Reliance Telecom created to circumvent the then guidelines of DoT which debarred existing CDMA players from venturing into GSM segment.

RTL and Swan Telecom, alleged beneficiaries of the scam, have been taking the defence that they were not "associate" firms as RTL's stake in Swan Telecom was below 10 per  cent, as mandated under the guidelines for the Unified Access Service Licenses.

Thus, the Union law ministry's report has virtually supported the two beneficiary firms' stand.
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