A Delhi court today found prima facie evidence against all the 17 accused including former Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi and corporate honchos to frame charges against them in the 2G Spectrum allocation scam case for varying roles.
The court found prima facie evidence to frame charges against Raja’s former Private Secretary RK Chandolia and former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura.
In addition, it said there was evidence for framing of charges against Raja, Behura and Chandolia under section 409 of the IPC for the offence of breach of trust against them which attracts maximum punishment of life term.
With an important milestone crossed in the case, the accused can now now move for bail as observed by the Supreme Court during the hearing of bail petition by Kanimozhi earlier.
Special CBI Judge OP Saini said evidence is there for framing of charges against telecom firms Reliance Telecom Ltd, Swan Telecom and Unitech (Tamil Nadu) Wireless Ltd.
The judge also said CBI has also brought evidence to frame charges against corporate executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group’s Managing Director Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara, Group’s President and Hari Nair, senior Vice President.
Others against whom charges will be framed are Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, his cousin Asif Balwa, their colleague Rajeev Agarwal, Unitech Ltd’s MD Sanjay Chandra and DB Realty MD Vinod Goenka.
The judge said there was prima facie evidence for framing charges also against Kalaignar TV’s MD Sharad Kumar and Bollywood filmmaker Karim Morani.
The court wanted to frame the charges today itself but all the accused said they need time to go through the over 700-page order on charges to be framed later.
The court found prima facie evidence to frame various penal charges including cheating, forgery, abetment and criminal conspiracy against the accused. It also found prima facie evidence of abuse of official position by Raja, Chandolia and Behura. The court had reserved its order on October 14 after hearing day-to-day arguments on behalf of accused and the CBI for nearly two months.
The trial of the accused would begin after the court pronounces its order on framing of charges in the case. The CBI, in its first charge sheet filed on April 2, had charged Raja and others with causing a huge loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer by allocating spectrum to ineligible operators as per a criminal conspiracy among themselves.
Special CBI Prosecutor U U Lalit had argued 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 had vehemently opposed the framing of charges and the plea of CBI that they caused a loss to the state in the grant of spectrum licenses.
Raja, during the arguments, sought to drag names of the Prime Minister and then Finance Minister P Chidambaram in the case saying they were kept apprised about the developments in the 2G sepctrum allocation.