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Jailed former communications minister A. Raja, the prime accused in the 2G spectrum case, contended Thursday in a special court here that the CBI’s fresh plea to slap an additional charge of criminal breach of trust against him should be dealt with separately, to enable him to seek bail in the case.

 

He made the submission before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge O.P. Saini.

Raja told the court that the fresh application of the CBI to frame a charge of criminal breach of trust against him should be treated separately.

The probe agency Sep 26 approached the court to frame fresh charges against the 17 accused, including former telecom minister A. Raja.

 

The probe agency asked the court for permission to frame charges for criminal breach of trust by a public servant against Raja, his former aide R.K. Chandolia, and former telecom secretary Siddartha Behura.

Criminal breach of trust is a non-bailable offence with punishment that stretches from 10 years to life.

The agency also pressed charges of criminal breach read with criminal conspiracy against the remaining 14 co-accused, including Raja’s party colleague and DMK MP Kanimozhi. The other 14 co-accused include three companies.

 

Raja’s co-accused in the case also made a plea for separate trial for charges related to criminal breach.

While making the submission all the accused cited constitutional provisions and a Supreme Court order in the case that the bail applications could be entertained only after the trial court framed charges.

 

Special public prosecutor U.U. Lalit, appearing for the CBI, said that a case of framing of charges for criminal breach of trust under section 409 of the Indian Penal Code was certainly made out against Raja, Chandolia and Behura.

The court concluded hearing arguments on a law ministry report on the scam, with accused firm Unitech Wireless claiming that it was eligible for the grant of licence.


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