CBI to probe Batchas death, registers case

New Delhi: CBI on Tuesday registered a case and began a probe into the death of Sadiq Batcha, a close aide of former Telecom Minister A Raja who has been arrested in the multi-crore spectrum allocation scam.

The agency has started its investigations under section 174 of the CrPC in the mysterious death of Batcha who was found hanging at his home in Chennai on March 16. The section allows an investigating agency to probe cases where death has been caused by unnatural reasons, official sources said.

The CBI action came after the Supreme Court`s direction to the government yesterday to issue within three days a notification for handing over the investigations to CBI after it was alleged that the Centre was "sitting over" the request for the last fortnight.

38-year-old Batcha, who was quizzed by CBI in connection with the 2G scam, was found dead t his home in south Chennai.

His wife had claimed he committed suicide as he was unable to cope with the pressure of the probe.

CBI and ED had conducted searches at his official and residential premises in December. He had been called for questioning four times since then.

Batcha was the Managing Director of Greenhouse Promoters, which CBI and Enforcement Directorate suspected to be a front for Raja.

CBI in its chargesheet filed on April 2 had alleged that the money connected with the 2G spectrum scam had travelled through Batcha`s company to Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd in which Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi`s wife Dayaluammal was one of the owners.

The agency had said Rs 200 crore connected with 2G scam travelled from a partnership firm of Shahid Usman Balwa, an accused in the case, to Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd.

Karunanidhi`s daughter and DMK MP Kanimozhi, Dayaluammal and Sharad Kumar, Managing Director of Kalaignar TV, have 20, 60 and 20 per cent shares in the channel respectively.