Special CBI court, holding trial in 2G spectrum allocation scam case, on Wednesday took strong exception to former telecom minister A Raja’s refusal to cross examine a witness and asked all the accused not to “create unfriendly conditions” in the court.
Special CBI Judge OP Saini, who had on Tuesday allowed Raja’s plea to defer cross-examination of a key CBI witness, got annoyed when the DMK MP again pleaded that the proceedings be deferred as he does not want to cross examine GS Grover, then member (services) of department of telecom (DoT), at this stage.
“This witness (Grover) has not said anything big. You can cross examine him today after one hour or after the lunch. I do not want to create any scene in the court….I do not want people outside to think that this court is not working,” the judge said after Raja’s counsel Manu Sharma refused to cross examine Grover.
Raja’s counsel, however, insisted that he would not cross examine the witness as he is not prepared for it.
Later, the judge again asked Raja if he would cross examine the witness but the DMK MP replied that his lawyer has already said they are not prepared for it.
The judge completed the recording of statement of Grover and told all the accused that they should honour something which they said before the court.
The judge said this after CBI prosecutor AK Singh said that accused “suddenly stopped” the cross examination of key witness AK Srivastava, a former deputy director general (AS) of the DoT, which “forced” him to call other witnesses in between.
“Please do not create unfriendly conditions in the court. As the prosecutor is saying, if you (accused) have requested something from the court, please honour it,” the judge said.
The court had on Tuesday directed Raja to commence the cross-examination of Srivastava from September 10.
Srivastava had testified that Raja was “final authority” to take decisions on policy matters.
According to the CBI charge sheet, there was a loss of over Rs. 30,000 crore to the exchequer in the allocation of 2G spectrum in 2008 during the tenure of Raja.
Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, along with others, are facing trial for various offences like criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and faking documents under the Indian Penal Code and for the offences of abusing official position, getting bribe and criminal misconduct by public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.