CBI may question Raja, his close aide in 2G spectrum case

CBI may question Raja, his close aide in 2G spectrum case

New Delhi: The CBI may soon question former telecom minister A Raja and his close associate R K Chandolia in connection with the alleged scam in allocation of 2G spectrum to various telephone service providers.

Official sources said today the move is afoot after agency sleuths transcribed nearly 6,000 telephone calls involving corporate lobbyist Nira Radia, Raja and others during which a purported mention about the allocation of spectrum was also made.

However, no specific dates have been decided for the questioning, the sources said.

CBI counsel K K Venugopal made a oral submission last week that the investigation into controversial spectrum allocation was likely to be finished in three months time.

Chandolia, who was sent back to his parent department , Indian Economic Services , within days of new telecom minister Kapil Sibal taking charge, was quizzed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the issue of the first-come-first-served basis for allocation of spectrum in 2008 after the cut off date for receiving applications was advanced by a week from 1 October, 2007 to 25 September.

Chandolia was personal secretary to Raja at the time of the controversial spectrum allocation in 2008.

Raja, who had to resign from the post in the wake of the scam, has been maintaining that he was ready for questioning by the CBI anytime the agency wished so.

Raja was yesterday slammed by the Supreme Court for showing “disrespect" to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and for “overruling" his advice to defer the controversial allocation by a few days.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly took strong exception to the tone and tenor of Raja’s letter to the PM wherein words like “unfair, discriminatory, capricious and arbitrary" were used.

The 47-year-old Raja was forced to resign as minister on 14 November in the wake of the CAG’s report that the rates at which 2G spectrum was allotted resulted in a loss to the exchequer to the tune of Rs1.76 lakh crore.