CBI to file first chargesheet against Raja, others
CBI sources, however, said the extent of loss to the state exchequer may not be included in this charge sheet as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) was yet to complete the process of ascertaining the loss on allocation of spectrum to all operators between 2001 and 2008.
The sources said that the charge sheet would cover the alleged criminal conspiracy behind allocation of spectrum during 2007-08 by Raja, the then Telecom Minister.
The charge sheet will be filed in a special court of Justice O P Saini, which is expected to be started from Tuesday as the Centre has already informed the Supreme Court about the same.
The CBI had last year informed the apex court that it would be filing the first set of charge sheet by March 31 which will include the investigations made by the agency as well as by the Enforcement Directorate in the case.
The charge sheet comes at a time when Tamil Nadu is going for the Assembly polls, and Raja is a member of the ruling DMK in the state.
Congress and DMK have a pre-poll alliance.
The CBI is expected to seek permission from the court for continuance of its probe in the case after filing its first charge sheet, as the probe agency wants to investigate various other angles including criminal conspiracy for favouring certain companies, abusing of official position for getting pecuniary benefits and the companies which manipulated the records to secure loans.
The sources said that besides those arrested in the case including Raja, his personal aide R K Chandolia, former Telecom Secretary Siddartha Behura, former Managing Director of Etislat DB (earlier Swan Telecom) Shahid Usman Balwa, the name of an MP may be mentioned in the charge sheet for being a part of the company which had allegedly received kickbacks in the scam.
They said the names of at least two firms dealing in real estate business would be mentioned in the charge sheet for allegedly entering into a criminal conspiracy and bribing government officials for bending rules in their favour.
A prominent telecom firm will continue to be under scanner as the agency feels that several funds were routed through overseas into DMK`s Kalingar Television.
On the exact loss to the exchequer, the CBI is likely to inform the court about its efforts including approaching the TRAI for the same.
The sources said that TRAI was still to come out with any figure in this regard.
The CBI had requested TRAI to set up an expert team which will go into the entire gamut of spectrum pricing and give an estimated loss which could be proved in the court of law.
The probe agency had earlier said the government may have lost over Rs 22,000 crore due to irregularities in the allocation of spectrum in January, 2008, by the then Telecom Minister A Raja, who was arrested earlier on charges of favouring some private firms.
The CAG has put the presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.