2G: CBI to file 80,000-page chargesheet on April 2

The CBI on Tuesday told the Supreme Court that it would file the first charge-sheet in the 2G spectrum allocation case on April 2 against the former Telecom Minister, Mr A. Raja, as well as some top officials of telecom companies and other individuals.

The first charge sheet would be around 80,000 pages. Those already arrested other than Mr Raja – that is Mr Shahid Balwa (promoter of Swan Telecom and Managing Director of DB Realty), Mr Siddharth Behura (the then Telecom Secretary), Mr R.K. Chandolia (Mr Raja’s private secretary) would figure in the chargesheet. This charge-sheet would be filed before a newly constituted Special Court presided over by Special Judge Mr O.P. Saini.

Filing a status report in a sealed envelope before the apex court, the CBI named at least two telecom firms – Swan Telecom (currently Etisalat DB) and Loop Telecom. The CBI said these firms were ineligible on the date of application of 2G licence and alleged that they illegally obtained 2G spectrum during Mr Raja’s tenure. It said Swan was ineligible being an associate of Reliance ADAG.

Mr Raja would be charged with corruption, forgery, cheating and criminal conspiracy, the CBI said, adding that Swan and Loop – that allegedly concealed several details about themselves to obtain spectrum – would face charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating.

The reports of the investigating agencies (the CBI and Enforcement Directorate) talks about the illegally obtained money from the 2G transactions being invested back in India. It also mentions several violations of Prevention of Money Laundering Act, Foreign Exchange Management Act and RBI guidelines by the accused. The properties of these companies and individuals would also be attached, the agencies said.

The CBI said there was evidence of “forgery” regarding changing the first-come-first-served policy during Mr Raja’s tenure to favour some of these companies.

Submitting the transcripts of telephonic conversation between corporate lobbyist Ms Niira Radia and corporate leaders as well as politicians, the CBI counsel Mr K.K. Venugopal said these would be used as evidence against the accused in the case during the prosecution.

The CBI said a second charge sheet would be submitted by April 25 and the probe would be completed by May 31.

The court told the agency that it did not have to submit a draft charge sheet for its (the court’s) approval and agreed to the CBI’s plea in this regard. The CBI, which was to submit its first charge sheet by March 31, sought some more time on Tuesday and assured the apex court that it would file the first charge sheet on April 2.

The court also sought the Government’s response on senior advocate Mr Shanti Bhushan’s plea to extend the 2G probe to 1999.

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