CBI gets transit two-day remand for Balwa

CBI gets transit two-day remand for Balwa

Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation was on Wednesday allowed two days transit remand of Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa by a Mumbai court to take him to Delhi and confront him with former telecom minister A. Raja, who is also in the agency’s custody in connection with the 2G spectrum case.

Balwa, who was arrested last evening from his Bandra residence, was produced before special CBI judge S.C. Chandak who allowed the agency two days of transit remand for his production before a Delhi court.

Arguing in the court, Balwa’s counsel contended that the company of his client was being singled out and was being made “scape goat" despite some more firms being involved in the case.

Countering the argument, the CBI counsel said that Balwa sold the licence to Etisalat, a UAE based company, allegedly for 4,200 crores while he had got it for 1,537 crore.

After the hearing the two sides, the judge said that since the CBI has Raja in its custody, it may need to confront the former minister and Balwa as the accused may have divulged something during his interrogation. On Tuesday, Raja was sent to two days police remand by a special CBI court in New Delhi. He was already with the CBI for five days and put to sustain interrogation.

Balwa’s arrest came two days ahead of the Supreme Court hearing the ongoing 2G spectrum case.

Sources claimed that the CBI had some evidence through Income Tax department that Balwa, a known close aide of Raja, was instrumental in channelling alleged kickbacks received by the former telecom minister in the sale of 2G spectrum.

According to the sources, Balwa had allegedly helped the minister and some of his close confidantes for parking the money in the real estate sector.

Sahil Makkar contributed to the story.