Special court defers hearing in 2G spectrum scam case

Special court defers hearing in 2G spectrum scam case
Special court defers hearing in 2G spectrum scam case

A special court today deferred hearing in the 2G spectrum scam cases in which former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi are among the accused.

Special Judge O P Saini, who is exclusively dealing with cases arising out of the 2G spectrum scam, also issued production warrants against Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra and Bollywood producer Karim Morani, who were absent as they are in judicial custody in other cases.

While Chandra is in Tihar Jail in connection with several cheating cases against his real estate firm Unitech Ltd, Morani is in a Hyderabad jail in a rape case.

The other accused were present in the court.

The court — which has been hearing the three cases, two filed by the CBI and one by the Enforcement Directorate — has fixed November 7 as the next date of hearing when it is likely to decide the date of pronouncing the judgement.

In the first case filed by the CBI, those facing trial include Raja and Kanimozhi as well as former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Chandra and three top executives of the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) — Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair.

The directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV Director Sharad Kumar and Karim Morani are also accused in the case.

Besides these 14, three telecom firms — Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL), Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd — are facing trial in the case.

In October 2011, the court framed charges against them under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.

In its charge sheet filed in April 2011 against Raja and others, the CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in the allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.

The court has recorded the statements of 154 CBI witnesses — including Anil Ambani, his wife Tina Ambani and former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia — running into over 4,400 pages.

The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.

In the second CBI case, those facing trial are Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Essar Group Director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf.

Three firms, Loop Telecom Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holding Ltd (ETHL), have also been named in the charge sheet.

The ED had filed a charge sheet in April 2014 against 19 people, including Raja, Kanimozhi, Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, Rajiv Aggarwal, Karim Morani and Sharad Kumar, in connection with a money laundering case relating to the scam.

In its charge sheet, the ED also named DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal as an accused in the case, in which it alleged that Rs 200 crore was paid by STPL promoters to DMK-run Kalaignar TV.

The final report named 10 individuals and nine companies as accused in the case. The ED has charge-sheeted them for the offence of money laundering under provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

( Source – PTI )

Special court reserves verdict in 2G scam case

Special court reserves verdict in 2G scam case
Special court reserves verdict in 2G scam case

A special court today reserved its verdict in the 2G spectrum allocation scam cases involving former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others as accused, six years after the CBI filed the first charge sheet.

Special Judge O P Saini, who is exclusively dealing with the cases arising out of the 2G spectrum scam, fixed July 15 for pronouncement of the verdict in the three cases.

The court has been hearing the three cases — two filed by the CBI and the third by the Enforcement Directorate.

The court asked all the parties to file by July 5 any additional documents they wished to.

In the first case filed by CBI, those facing trial, besides Raja and Kanimozhi, are former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) — Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair — are facing trial in the case.

Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV Director Sharad Kumar and Bollywood producer Karim Morani are also accused in the case.

Besides these 14, three telecom firms — Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL), Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd — are also facing trial in the case.

The court had in October 2011 framed charges against them under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating,forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.

In its charge sheet filed in April 2011 against Raja and others, CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.

The court has recorded the statements of 154 CBI witnesses, including Reliance ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani, his wife Tina Ambani and former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, running into over 4,400 pages in the case.

The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.

In the second CBI case, those who face trial are Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters, Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Essar Group Director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf.

Three firms, Loop Telecom Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holding Ltd (ETHL) are also chage sheeted.

The ED, in its case, had filed a charge sheet in April 2014 against 19 people, including Raja, Kanimozhi, Shahid Balwa, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, Rajiv Aggarwal, Karim Morani and Sharad Kumar in connection with a money laundering case relating to the scam.

In its charge sheet, ED also named DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal as accused in the case in which it alleged that Rs 200 crore was paid by STPL promoters to DMK-run Kalaignar TV.

The final report named 10 individuals and nine companies as accused in the case and the ED has chargesheeted them for the offence of money laundering under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

( Source – PTI )

CBI officers could not understand DoT files: A Raja

CBI officers could not understand DoT files: A Raja
CBI officers could not understand DoT files: A Raja

Former Telecom Minister A Raja today claimed he was being prosecuted in the 2G spectrum case as the CBI’s investigating officers (IOs) were unable to understand the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) files despite questioning him for about 15 months.

During the final arguments in 2G spectrum allocation scam case, Raja told the special court that he had explained to the IOs about the DoT files during questioning but they could not understand it.

“For 15 months, I was telling the IOs about the files but they were unable to understand the files. I was interrogated and I explained everything but the IOs did not understand the files and they prosecuted me,” Raja himself told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

Raja’s counsel Manu Sharma told the court that CBI probed this case, alleged to be the biggest scam of the country, but had not investigated as to how the applications of Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) Ltd (TTML) went missing from the DoT’s Wireless Planning and Coordination (WPC) wing.

“What kind of investigation is this? Admitted fact is that the applications were missing from the WPC wing but still this was not investigated. CBI used this situation to pressurise the witness to depose against Siddharth Behura (former Telecom Secretary),” Sharma argued during the arguments, which would continue tomorrow.

He asked “Why did the CBI not fixed responsibility as to who was responsible for these missing files. The agency purportedly left this issue to pressurise the witness.”

Besides Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi, Behura and 14 others, including three firms, are facing trial in the case.

Raja had earlier argued before the court that he had never misled then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on any issue relating to procedures to be followed for allocation of 2G spectrum allocation.

The other accused in the case are — Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Unitech Ltd Managing Director Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL) promoters Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka and three executives of Reliance ADAG – Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair.

Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV Director Sharad Kumar and Bollywood producer Karim Morani are also facing trial in the case, besides three telecom companies — Reliance Telecom Ltd, STPL and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd.

In its charge sheet, CBI had alleged a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum, which was scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.

All these accused, who are out on bail, have denied the allegations levelled against them by CBI.

( Source – PTI )

Had informed PM about Law Min’s view on 2G: Raja

Had informed PM about Law Min's view on 2G: Raja
Had informed PM about Law Min’s view on 2G: Raja

Former Telecom Minister A Raja today told a special courtthat he had informed then Prime Minister Manmohan Singhabout the Law Ministry’s opinion to refer the matter of processing of applications seeking 2G spectrum to an empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM).

Opposing CBI’s allegations that he had misled the Prime Minister and incorrectly stated that the opinion of Law Ministry to refer the matter to EGoM was out of context, Raja argued that Manmohan Singh did not feel the need to refer the matter to the EGoM and the issue rested there.

“I had conveyed to the Prime Minister about it. I left it to the Prime Minister to decide on the issue. I had told him what the Law Ministry was saying and what was the view of DoT on it. The Prime Minister was empowered to constitute an EGoM,” Raja’s counsel Manu Sharma told Special CBI Judge O P Saini during the final arguments in the 2G spectrum case.

Maintaining that it was not his view that the Law Ministry’s opinion was “out of context”, he said this was the Department of Telecommunications’s (DoT) view which was arrived at after due consultation with its Member (Technology) and Deputy Director General (AS).

Referring to the letters written by Raja to the Prime Minister, his counsel said he had informed Manmohan Singh about everything that was happening on the issue.

“As I had informed the Prime Minister about everything, including the suggestions of the Law Ministry and the DoT’s view on it, the ball was in the Prime Minister’s court,” the lawyer said.

He further argued that DoT was of the view that the issue of processing of applications cannot go to EGoM in any manner.

“The Law Minister had said that in view of the importance of the issue, the matter be referred to the EGoM. I say there was no reason to refer the matter of processing of applications to the EGoM,” he said.

“Three letters were written by Raja to the Prime Minister and the final letter written by Raja in which he had given the entire details was vetted and studied in depth by then senior PMO official, Pulok Chatterji. The Prime Minister had said it was okay. Had it not been okay, the things would have been different,” the counsel said during the final arguments, which would continue tomorrow.
During the arguments, Raja’s counsel contended that it

was not the CBI’s case that the then Telecom Minister had tried to influence any DoT official when the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had asked certain queries from the department while conducting the audit.

“CAG had sought response from the DoT on various issues. It is nobody’s case that I had influenced anyone in DoT to draft the reply to the queries in a particular fashion,” he said.

He also claimed that in 2005-06, DoT “used to sleep over the files for years” and this was done only to benefit the existing telecom operators.

Raja had earlier told the court that all decisions taken by him regarding 2G spectrum allocation were “unanimous” and he had shared the details with the then Prime Minister and other cabinet colleagues at all crucial stages.

CBI had earlier alleged that Raja had “misled” the then Prime Minister regarding the policy of first-come-first-served (FCFS) which was to be followed for allocation of 2G spectrum.

Regarding the alleged conspiracy, CBI had claimed Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd promoters Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka were in touch with Raja and his then private secretary R K Chandolia when Raja was the Minister of Environment and Forest.

Besides Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi, Chandolia, Chandra, Balwa and Goenka, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura and three top executives of Reliance ADAG – Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair – are facing trial in the case.

Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV Director Sharad Kumar and Bollywood producer Karim Morani are also accused in the case, besides three telecom companies — Reliance Telecom Ltd, Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd.

In its charge sheet, CBI had alleged a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum, which was scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.

All these accused have denied the allegations levelled against them by CBI.

( Source – PTI )

A Raja had misled then PM on 2G policy matters: CBI

A Raja had misled then PM on 2G policy matters: CBI
A Raja had misled then PM on 2G policy matters: CBI

Former Telecom Minister A Raja had “misled” then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regarding policy of first-come-first-served (FCFS) which was to be followed for allocation of 2G spectrum, CBI today told a special court.

Advancing final arguments in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, in which Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and 15 others are facing trial, special public prosecutor Anand Grover said Raja had subverted the FCFS policy so that he can “pick and choose” the firms for allocation of the radio waves.

“Raja had misled the then Prime Minister on FCFS. In his November 2, 2007 letter, Raja said to the PM that there was no deviation in the policy. In his another letter, Raja misled the then PM on FCFS policy,” Grover told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

“Raja falsely stated to then PM that there was concurrence of the then Solicitor General and the then Foreign Minister (on policy matter). This was a completely false statement by Raja,” he said.

Grover told the court that clause 8 of the Unified Access Services Licence (UASL) guidelines was flouted by Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL) as it was controlled by Reliance ADAG.

“Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd was a Reliance ADAG company,” he said.

Regarding the alleged conspiracy, CBI said Unitech Ltd Managing Director Sanjay Chandra, STPL promoters Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka were in touch with Raja and his erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia when Raja was the Minister of Environment and Forest.

“The prosecution has established an important facet of criminal conspiracy that they were in constant touch with each other,” Grover said during the arguments which would continue tomorrow.

Besides Raja, Kanimozhi, Chandolia, Chandra, Balwa and Goenka, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura and three top executives of Reliance ADAG – Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair – are facing trial in the case.

Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV Director Sharad Kumar and Bollywood producer Karim Morani are also accused in the case, besides three telecom companies — Reliance Telecom Ltd, STPL and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd.

In its charge sheet, CBI had alleged a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum, which was scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.

All the accused have denied the allegations levelled against them by CBI.

( Source – PTI )

Raja arbitrarily subverted procedures for dual technology: CBI

Raja arbitrarily subverted procedures for dual technology: CBI
Raja arbitrarily subverted procedures for dual technology: CBI

Former Telecom Minister A. Raja had “arbitrarily” subverted procedures while giving approvals for dual technology licences to favour accused Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL), the Cenral Bureau of Investigation on Monday claimed in a special court.

During the final arguments in 2G spectrum allocation case, special public prosecutor Anand Grover said that Raja had not evolved any procedure which was to be followed while dealing with pending applications for dual technology, despite the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and Telecom Commission insisting on it.

“No procedure was evolved to allocate dual technology licence. A Raja subverted the procedures. Everybody else was saying that evolve a procedure, but Raja deliberately ignored them,” Grover told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

“Without evolving any procedure, Raja gave approval to grant dual technology,” he said, asking that “a minister can approve it, but where was the procedure“.

‘Raja acted arbitrarily’

He further argued that “the entire process has to be fair. It was the government, so the process must be fair.

Raja

There was no public announcement about it. Raja approved it arbitrarily to favour certain applicants.”

Grover said that STPL was “ultimately favoured” in the entire process.

“No procedure was evolved by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). Everybody, from TRAI to Telecom Commission, was saying that a procedure should be evolved.

There was no public announcement,” he said.

“Without making it public, you are parting with the property of the state. This was done to favour certain people,” he said during the arguments which would continue tomorrow.

In its charge sheet, the agency has alleged that Tata Tele Services Ltd and Spice Communications, which were having priority over STPL in terms of the dual technology approvals, were “unreasonably deprived” of the allocation of spectrum for Delhi circle.

Raja, STPL and its promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and 13 others are facing trial in the case. Raja and other co-accused have denied the allegations levelled against them by the CBI.

( Source – PTI )

2G: Raja accepts meeting Radia at his residence

2g1Former Telecom Minister A Raja, an accused in the 2G case, on Monday accepted having met former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia along with then Tata group chairman Ratan Tata at his residence in connection with work of Tata group, but categorically denied having any telephonic conversation with her.

“I met her once or twice along with Ratan Tata and thereafter, met her a few times, both in the Ministry of Environment and Forests as well as in the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MOC&IT),” Raja told Special CBI Judge O P Saini while deposing as a witness to defend himself in the ongoing trial in 2G case.

“In both the Ministries, she came to meet me. She used to visit me in connection with work of Tata group. She met me once at my house along with Ratan Tata. “I am not able to recollect if I had any telephonic conversation with her from my side.

I am unable to I recollect exactly if she ever called me. I am sure that I myself never called her,” said Raja while being cross-examined by special public prosecutor U U Lalit, who asked if he has ever met Radia or not.

In July last year, while deposing as a prosecution witness, Radia had told the court that she had telephonic conversation about Cabinet formation with Raja and had attended meetings on behalf of Tatas with him at his residential office here during November 2008.

On being asked whether he was aware of Kalaignar TV, the DMK leader said that he was aware of it as a viewer and did not know its shareholding pattern. “I am aware as a viewer and watching Kalaignar TV (P) Limited since the time it was launched. It was launched in 2007.

I do not know who launched this channel. I am not aware of the management of Kalaignar TV,” Raja, whose cross- examination was deferred for tomorrow after he complained of being unwell, said. PTI

(Source: PTI)

2G: Not involved in Rs 200 crtransaction: A Raja

A RajaFormer Telecom Minister A Raja, an accused in a 2G scam-related money laundering case, today told a special court that he was not involved in the Rs 200 crore transaction, which as per the Enforcement Directorate (ED) was a bribe given to DMK-run Kalaignar TV by DB Group company.

Arguing on the bail application filed by Raja as well as on framing of charges in the case, advocate Manu Sharma, who appeared for him, said the DMK leader was earlier granted bail in the CBI’s 2G spectrum allocation case and he has been attending court proceedings keeping aside his political commitments.

“I (Raja) am facing trial in a separate (CBI’s) case in 2G spectrum allocation case. I was granted bail in that case and my conduct has been good and I am attending court proceedings by putting my political commitments on the back burner,” Raja’s counsel told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

His counsel also contended that there was no evidence in the case and it was a “mere coincidence” that he was a member of the DMK and his party had planned to start Kalaignar TV.

“How the prosecution (ED) can say that I have knowledge of transaction taking place back and forth. How do I know this transaction. How am I actually involved,” he said, adding, “It is an unhappy coincidence that I belong to that party (DMK).”

ED had filed a charge sheet against 19 accused, including Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, claiming that the transaction of Rs 200 crore, which was allegedly paid to Kalaignar TV, was not genuine” and it was a “bribe for grant of telecom licences to DB Group companies”.

During the hearing, Raja’s counsel argued that his client has been allowed to depose as a witness to defend himself in the CBI case and if he would be taken into custody, “the whole process of being examined as defence witness will be disrupted.”

During the proceedings, the court also heard arguments advanced by the lawyers representing some of the co-accused in the case.

(Source: PTI)

 

2G case: Sadhick Batch’s driver fears for life

2G spectrum allocation scam case, 2G case, Sadhick Batch,  Green House Promoters, A Raja, Public Prosecutor Chenthil Kumar,  CBI in Delhi

A prosecution witness on Monday broke down in a Delhi court, hearing the 2G spectrum allocation scam case, saying he is facing life threat and does not wish to come here again.

Prosecution witness M Krishnamoorthy, former driver of late Sadhick Batcha, who was an aide of former telecom minister A Raja, broke down in the court minutes after the recording of his testimony got over.

Batcha, who committed suicide on March 16, 2011, was the managing director of real estate company Green House Promoters in which Raja’s wife MA Parameswari was earlier a director and his other relatives were also reportedly associated with the firm.

As Krishnamoorthy does not understand any language except Tamil, the questions asked to him and his replies were translated in English by Public Prosecutor Chenthil Kumar.

When the witness started crying, prosecutor Kumar told the court that he feels his life was under threat as he is a small person while the “other party is quite influential”.

On being repeatedly asked by Special CBI Judge OP Saini, he could not point out as to who was “influential” and to whom he was addressing as “other party”.

He, however, said even his employers Green House Promoters” are “very influential”.

“Chenthil Kumar K invited my attention to him (witness) and told that the witness says that his life is under threat. He says that he is a small person and other party is quite influential. However, despite questioning him several times, he could not point out as to who is influential.

“However, after being told that his statement is over and he need not come again, he says he does not wish to say anything else. He further says that from the date of incident, he is not peaceful. He says he has nothing else to say to this court,” the judge said, asking the prosecutor to console the witness.

During the proceedings, the court said the witness appeared “to be a reasonably intelligent person”.

Green House Promoters Private Ltd, was registered in 2004, shortly before Raja, an accused in the 2G case, became a union minister.

On March 16, 2011, Batcha was found hanging in his room on the day when he was to be questioned by CBI in Delhi in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation case.

The agency was investigating Green House Promoters for its alleged links with those accused in the 2G case.

In his suicide note, Batcha was reported to have said that he had been embarrassed by the media’s coverage of the CBI raids of his house.

 

PTI

JPC questions CBI for showing leniency to PM and Chidambaram

The leniency shown by the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Attorney-General Goolam Vahanvati, Home Minister P. Chidambaram and the former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran, and its clear reluctance to investigate their roles in the 2G scam, on Tuesday prompted members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee(JPC) to call for the immediate arrest of Mr. Maran. They also asked for interrogation of both the AG and Mr. Chidambaram.

 The CBI, under the Supreme Court’s directions, has been tasked with investigating the spectrum scam, starting from 2001. CBI Director A.P. Singh admitted to the JPC that a genuine probe, in spite of the agency filing an FIR on October 21, 2009, was launched only after the court’s December 16, 2010 directions. Following this, the CBI arrested ex-Telecom Minister A. Raja in February 2011 and filed its charge sheets in April and October.

 But, blowing a hole in the investigation, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta questioned why the CBI, in its April 2, 2011 charge sheet, said no discussion took place between Mr. Raja and Mr. Vahanvati when the AG himself, in response to an RTI application, had admitted to a meeting with Mr. Raja and Pranab Mukherjee in the first week of December. The CBI’s response was that it had no evidence of the meeting at the time of its filing the charge sheet.

 Asked why the CBI believed that Mr. Vahanvati was innocent despite his having approved the January 10, 2008 press release which included an illegal advancement of the cut-off date, and why the AG had not been questioned over manipulation of the first come, first served criterion, which was also included in the same press release, the CBI insisted that it was not the AG who gave the order.

 Questioned by Mr. Dasgupta about the clean chit given to Mr. Chidambaram, who was Finance Minister during the period the 2G scam occurred, the CBI said this was because his views were similar to those expressed by the then Finance Secretary, D. Subbarao, who had opposed Mr. Raja’s spectrum allocation methodology. Based on Dr. Subbarao’s statement to the CBI, the agency advised the court that there was no need to interrogate Mr Chidambaram.

 Reminding the CBI that the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC) Act defines corruption as abuse of office, irrespective of financial gain, by a public servant to cause an unlawful gain to any individual, senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha asked why the CBI gave the Prime Minister a clean chit on grounds that he was “misled” by Mr. Raja.

 Mr. Sinha highlighted the detailed letters written by Mr. Raja to the Prime Minister apprising him of his actions, which the Prime Minister acknowledged (he even advised Mr. Raja to hold a press conference to clear media misunderstandings), as well as the detailed PMO notings on spectrum pricing. He asked why the CBI believed that the Prime Minister was so naive as to quietly withdraw all his “concerns” about Mr. Raja’s spectrum pricing methodology just on a single written assurance by the latter that he was following policy. To this, the CBI maintained that it had not seen the PMO files.

 The CBI’s status report on its 2G investigation, which was presented to the JPC members, also raised eyebrows. Members questioned why the CBI, following the CAG report and the Supreme Court’s directions, had arrested and jailed Mr. Raja based on suspicion — that too much before filing charge sheets — while it had refused to arrest Mr. Maran even after finding him guilty in its report. The CBI failed to give a satisfactory response to this query.

 The CBI also told the JPC that it had no evidence against Anil Ambani and only arrested Reliance company officials were instrumental in the wrongdoing.

 They also had no answer to questions about Ratan Tata’s alleged role. Claiming that Switzerland was refusing to cooperate, it refused to commit to any delivery on finding the money trail in foreign countries. The little progress claimed by the CBI was that its revenue loss estimate has inched to Rs. 30,000 crore, which is closer to the CAG’s estimates than the Rs. 22,000 crore stated in its October 2009 FIR.