CBI likely to question Kanimozhi, Radia soon

New Delhi: With the deadline for filing charge sheet in the 2G spectrum case nearing, the CBI is expected to soon question DMK MP K Kanimozhi and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia, especially on the role played by Radia in clinching a deal between Tata Realty and Unitech.

The CBI is also preparing a list of all ineligible telecom companies which had got the licences in 2008, besides scrutinising the papers of a deal between Tata Realty and Unitech, agency sources said.

The CBI is also looking into the merger of eight different companies of Unitech which is alleged to have merged all their licenses and got a waiver of the mandatory three-year lock-in-period for selling their shares, the sources said.

They said the agency would be questioning Kanimozhi, daughter of DMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, soon. The CBI has claimed that it had found a money trail of Rs 214 crore of funding to Kalaignar TV, a regional channel operational mainly in Tamil Nadu in which Karunanidhi`s family members allegedly have a majority stake, by DB Realty.

Efforts to seek Kanimozhi`s reaction did not fructify and there was no reply even to SMSes sent to her.

The CBI is also conducting a "microscopic examination" of a deal between Tata Group`s real estate and infrastructure development arm Tata Realty and Infrastructure and Unitech whereby the latter had received a loan, which the agency claims, had been diverted, the sources said.

Radia is likely to be summoned again by the CBI in connection with the case for allegedly playing an important role in the deal, they said.

The CBI has roped in the Enforcement Directorate officials to help it in locating the money trail and detect any violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) as well as stake holding-patterns in some of the firms which acted as front for other telecom companies.

The sources said that the CBI had sent Letters Rogatory (LRs) to eight countries including Cyprus and Norway to find out the source of funding of the telecom firms which were awarded spectrum.

A Letters Rogatory is a formal request issued by a competent court to a foreign court and processed by the Ministry of External Affairs on behalf of the investigative agencies to obtain information about individuals and entities.

In a related development, a list of ineligible firms is being drafted and its findings on criminal conspiracy and culpability will be finalised before March 20, the sources said.

The agency has been directed by the Supreme Court to file a charge sheet by March 31.

The CBI is probing whether Tata Real Estate had paid Rs 1,600 crore to Unitech for a land deal at a time when the the real estate company was applying for 2G licence in 2007.