First charge sheet filed in 2G scam case

New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister A Raja and eight others including former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura and three telecom companies were on Saturday indicted in the 2G spectrum allocation scam in which the CBI filed its first charge sheet pegging the loss to the exchequer at Rs 30,984 crore.

The companies named in the charge sheet filed in a Delhi court include Reliance Telecom, Unitech Wireless and Swan Telecom. A supplementary charge sheet is to be filed later this month in the case that is being monitored by the Supreme Court.

The charge sheet running into about 80,000 pages was filed before Judge O P Saini in the special court constituted exclusively to try the case that has hit the UPA government politically in less than two years of its return to power.

Charges of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and corruption have been levelled against Raja, his Private Secretary R K Chandolia, Behura and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa.

The CBI said that investigation into issuance of new Unified Access Services Licences and subsequent allocation of 2G Spectrum during 2008-09 has established commission of offences under Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Others named in the charge sheet include Vinod Goenka, a Director of Mumbai-based DB Realty, which was also the promoter of Etisalat DB, Sanjay Chandra, Managing Director of Gurgaon-based real estate company Unitech and Unitech Wireless(Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd and Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara, Group Managing Director and two Senior Vice Presidents of Mumbai-based Reliance Telecom Company.

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India had estimated a presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crores in the issuance of 2G spectrum licenses.

Special Judge O P Saini took cognizance of the CBI charge sheet and issued summons for April 13 against the accused not arrested in the case.

The CBI charge sheet said that Unitech Wireless was the biggest beneficiary in the scam. Unitech Wireless and Swan Telecom were the only two companies ineligible for allocation of 2G spectrum, it said.

Further, Swan Telecom was acting as a front company for Reliance Telecom for getting 2G spectrum, the charge sheet said.

The CBI told the court that Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd, Cineyug Films, Green House Pvt Ltd and Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd are also under its scrutiny.

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

The CBI has alleged the money connected with the 2G spectrum allocation had travelled from Balwa`s firm to Kalaignar TV through Cineyug Films and Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd.

Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal, directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, were arrested on March 29.

Agarwal was arrested for his alleged role in transferring Rs 200 crore to Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd through the bank accounts of Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd.

Sadiq Batcha, a close aide of Raja who died in mysterious circumstances last month, was the managing director of Greenhouse Promoters and was quizzed by the CBI.

The CBI had yesterday told the court that the alleged cash transaction between D B Realty and Chennai-based Green House Promoters Pvt Ltd "might have link" to Batcha`s death.

In the voluminous charge sheet, 654 documents and names of 125 witnesses have been mentioned.

The CBI had registered an FIR on October 21, 2009 under various sections of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act against "unknown officers of DoT and unknown private persons/companies and others".

The Supreme Court had directed the CBI to go after corporate beneficiaries without being influenced by their status– "be it millionaires or those on the Forbes list".

It had given a deadline of March 31 to file the charge sheet, which was extended to April 2 on the CBI`s request.

The apex court had yesterday expressed satisfaction over the probe into the case saying that it was moving in the right direction.

The CBI had assured the apex court that the supplementary charge sheet will be filed on April 25 and the investigation in the case will be completed by May 31.