ED to summon officials, including Raja aides over 2-G scam

ED to summon officials, including Raja aides over 2-G scam

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate is likely to soon issue summons to some government officials, including two who were considered to be close to former telecom minister A Raja, in the 2-G spectrum scam probe.

Sources said the ED, which has registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), may summon certain officials including R K Chandolia and A K Srivastava, who worked with Raja.

Chandolia, who was personal secretary to Raja at the time of the controversial spectrum allocation in 2008, was sent back to his parent department - Indian Economic Services - within days of new telecom minister Kapil Sibal taking charge.

The sources said they are likely to quizzed on the allocation process, the alleged role played by corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and on their income tax returns and investments. The questioning would be based on information collected by various agencies including the CBI, Income Tax Department and the ED itself over the last over one year.

The questions will be about the allocation process, including the controversial first-come-first-serve basis. They said questions would also be asked about the alleged role played by Radia and her dealing with them if any.

Sources said the officials would also be asked to submit all details about their income, their annual IT returns for the last few years and details about their investments both in movable and immovable assets besides their foreign travel.

The statement given by Radia will also form the basis of their inquiry, they said. The Directorate recently questioned Radia for about seven hours during which she had given an over 20-page statement.

Meanwhile, sources said the ED, which has already issued summons to certain firms which bagged spectrum in 2008, are currently sifting through several thousand pages of documents submitted by them during the first round of questioning.

The ED probe into the case is expected to unravel the murky trail of suspected money laundering allegedly linked with the spectrum allocation.

Former telecom minister A Raja was forced to resign earlier this month after a damning report on the spectrum allocation by the comptroller and auditor general.

The CBI is also probing the alleged scam and had recently told the Supreme Court that they will file a chargesheet in the case within three months.

The agency had also said it will take two months to complete the investigation as it was examining transcripts relating to 5,000 calls (out of which 3,800 have been analysed), 6,000 files and 80,000 pages of documents.