2G case: Raja to cross examine Srivastava on Monday

New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister A Raja will start tomorrow cross-examining a key prosecution witness in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case in a Delhi court.

Raja, who is facing trial in the case, had earlier sought Special CBI Judge O P Saini’s permission to defer his cross-examination of prosecution witness and Department of Telecom’s former Deputy Director General (AS) A K Srivastava, due to unavailability of his counsel Sushil Kumar.

Srivastava testimony assumes significance in the 2G case as he had deposed that Raja, being the then telecom minister, was the “final authority” to take decisions on policy matters in the DoT.

He had also said Raja had communicated to the Prime Minister about the policy for distribution of licences “at his level” and the issues involved in it were “not processed” by DoT formally.

Raja, who was scheduled to cross-examine Srivastava after the CBI prosecutor concluded the recording of his statement, had earlier told the court that he would start it after Swan Telecom promoter and co-accused Shahid Usman Balwa completes the cross-examination but thereafter, he had sought time from the court till tomorrow.

The other accused had also told the court that they would cross-examine Srivastava, if needed, and that too after Raja finishes his examination.

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.