Former telecom minister A Raja will be questioned by Central Bureau of Investigation within next two days in connection with alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum that resulted in a loss of at least Rs 22,000 crore to the exchequer.
CBI officials said a notice under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code has been issued to Raja to appear before it for questioning either on Thursday or Friday. "I am going to Delhi. I will be there for two-three days. I will cooperate with the investigating agency," Raja told mediapersons at the state guest house in Chennai before leaving for the national capital on being asked when he would appear before the investigating agency.
Raja would be questioned about the need to bring forward the dates for allocation of spectrum and, among other issues, 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.
The Supreme Court has asked CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to submit status reports on their investigations into the 2G scam to it by February 10, when the case will come up for hearing.
The Comptroller and Auditor General of India in its report to Parliament had said that the allocation of 2G spectrum at undervalued prices had resulted in the loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer. CBI in its first information report had mentioned the loss as Rs 22,000 crore based on the findings of Central Vigilance Commission, which had referred the case to it.
Forty-seven-year-old Raja was forced to resign as telecom minister in the wake of the government auditor's report last month. Radia was questioned by the CBI on Wednesday at her south Delhi farmhouse for four hours. Radia hit the spotlight after her taped telephonic conversations with various influential people including industrialists, politicians and journalists became public.
The CBI has also questioned former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India chief Pradip Baijal, a 1966 batch IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, in connection with the case. The premises of Raja, Baijal and Radia were searched by the CBI earlier this month.