Behura seeks more time from par panel

New Delhi: Former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, facing trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case, has sought more time from a Parliamentary panel examining the telecom policies to appear before it. The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) had decided to summon Behura as a witness before it on April 11 and 18 and a CBI court had recently granted him permission to appear before the panel.

But Behura – lodged in Tihar jail – has written to the JPC seeking more time to prepare himself before appearing as a witness. Sources in the Committee said as a "courtesy", the panel would decide on a fresh date to call the former Telecom Secretary. The JPC had decided to summon Behura and former Telecom Minister A Raja on March 21. It is yet to decide the date to call Raja to give oral evidence. The JPC had earlier written to Tihar authorities to present Behura before it for which the CBI court had granted permission in July last year. But he was never actually summoned by the panel.

Behura was arrested on February 2 last year by the CBI along with Raja and his personal secretary R K Chandolia on charges of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and criminal misconduct. The JPC has decided to summon all former telecom ministers, telecom secretaries and former chairmen of TRAI to collect evidence on the telecom policies followed from 1998 to 2009.