CBI to file first chargesheet against Raja, others

New Delhi: An over 80,000 page first chargesheet with annexures will be filed by the CBI tomorrow in the 2G spectrum scam case against former Telecom Minister A Raja, some of his close aides and a couple of real estate companies for allegedly defrauding the exchequer and entering into a criminal conspiracy for securing telecom licenses.

Sources said the name of a big industrial house having alleged links with some beneficiaries of the allocation scam may also figure in the first set of charges. The second set of charges may be levelled in the supplementary chargesheet which is likely to be filed later this month.

The CBI has informed the Supreme Court that telecom companies – Swan Telecom and Loop Telecom – were used as front companies by established telecom players to get 2G spectrum illegally during the tenure of Raja.

The agency had said in the court that Raja will face charges of "cheating, forgery, and corruption".

The CBI submitted before the court that Swan and Loop hid details about their companies to get spectrum and they will be facing charges of "cheating" and "criminal conspiracy".

The agency had told the court that there was evidence of "forgery" in altering of first-come-first-serve policy to allow some companies to get 2G spectrum during Raja`s tenure.

CBI sources, however, said the extent of loss to the state exchequer may not be included in this chargesheet 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 chargesheet will be filed in the special court of Justice O P Saini.

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. But it sought two more days time in the light of some new developments.

The agency had arrested brother of Shahid Balwa, Asif and Rajiv Agrawal both promoters of Kusegaon fruit and vegetables private limited.

The CBI is expected to seek permission from the court for continuance of its probe in the case after filing its first chargesheet.

It wants to investigate various angles including criminal conspiracy for favouring certain companies, abuse 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 chargesheet for being involved with a company which had allegedly received kickbacks in the scam.

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 Raja who was arrested on charges of favouring some private firms.

The CAG has put the presumptive loss to the exchequer at Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

During the course of investigation, CBI arrested two more persons — Asif Balwa, cousin of Shahid Balwa, and Rajeev Agarwal who is a partner of DB Realty.

During the earlier hearings, CBI alleged the money allegedly connected with the 2G spectrum allocation had travelled from Balwa`s firm to Kalaignar TV private ltd in which Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi`s daughter and DMK MP Kanimozhi, her mother Dayaluammal and Sharad Kumar, Managing Director of the channel, has 20, 60 and 20 per cents of the share.

Government had on Tuesday told the apex court that it was all set to file the first chargesheet on April 1 and subsequently it will file the supplementary chargesheet by April 25 and by May 31 CBI will complete its investigation.

The apex court was informed that the investigation into the case has unearthed that established telecom operators used some relatively new companies as front to secure the licences for 2G spectrum and money transaction has taken place from foreign countries.

It also expressed its satisfaction that the investigation into the case was moving in the right direction.