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Court to decide on framing of charges against 17 in 2G case

Court to decide on framing of charges against 17 in 2G case
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First Published: Wed, Sep 14 2011. 07 56 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Sep 14 2011. 07 56 PM IST
New Delhi: A Delhi court is likely to pronounce its order on Thursday on framing of charges against 17 accused in the 2G scam including former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi.
Special CBI judge O P Saini, who heard arguments on behalf of the accused and the CBI for over a month on day-to-day basis, had reserved the order on 29 August.
Winding up arguments, special CBI Prosecutor U U Lalit had said that there was “sufficient prima facie” evidence against all the accused to proceed with the trial as everyone of them was part of the conspiracy and the intent to commit offence “may be inferred from their knowledge”.
On the other hand, all the accused including Raja opposed the framing of charges and the plea of CBI that they caused a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the state exchequer in the grant of spectrum licenses.
The case cannot withstand the legal scrutiny as the Prime Minister and present telecom minister Kapil Sibal were on records that the state did not incur any loss, the counsel for Raja and others had submitted.
Raja also said that he may seek to examine the Prime Minister as a witness to prove that there was no loss.
Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, other accused include former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura, Raja’s former personal secretary R K Chandolia, DMK-run Kalaignar TV’s MD Sharad Kumar, bollywood filmmaker Karim Morani and Reliance ADAG executives Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara.
The accused also included Unitech Ltd’s MD Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal.
Three companies -- Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL), Swan Telecom and Unitech (Tamil Nadu) Wireless Ltd -- have also been made accused in the case.
Meanwhile, CBI may file its second supplementary charge sheet in the case.
During the arguments, special prosecutor Lalit opposed the plea of Raja and Kanimozhi that they are MPs and their prosecution was illegal due to lack of proper sanction from the Speaker of Lok Sabha and Chairperson of Rajya Sabha respectively.
The office Raja was holding as an MP has not come into the picture at all and it was not the case that Raja and Kanimozhi misused their offices as MPs, Lalit had said.
The prosecutor had sought framing of charges against all the accused including three telecom firms under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.
CBI said Swan Telecom and Unitech, alleged beneficiaries, got the licences despite being ineligible and later off-loaded their shares and earned huge profit of around Rs 7,300 crore.
Discussing roles of RTL and three Reliance ADAG officials, CBI said they set up an ineligible company (Swan Telecom) as a front firm to circumvent the then dual technology policy of the department of telecom which barred an existing CDMA player from venturing into GSM sector. However, the policy was later changed.
The control of Swan Telecom was later transferred to DB Group promoted by co-accused Shahid Usman Balwa, CBI said.
The RTL and Reliance ADAG officials, however, opposed the plea saying there was no evidence as to what they gained.
Neither RTL nor its three employees, who are also accused in the case, committed any act which could be linked to with the case, the counsel for the firm said.
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First Published: Wed, Sep 14 2011. 07 56 PM IST
More Topics: 2G Scam | 2G Spectrum | Court | Telecom | A Raja |