CBI custody of Raja, Balwa extended

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on February 14, 2011 Published on February 14, 2011


A Delhi court, hearing the 2G case, on Monday extended the CBI custody remand of the former Telecom Minister, Mr A. Raja, to February 17 and that of Mr Shahid Usman Balwa, ‘Director' of Swan Telecom, to February 18.

The Special CBI judge, Mr O.P. Saini, said, “Considering the enormity of crime, complex and complicated nature of the investigation, voluminous documents involved in the case, I find that the prayer (by CBI) for further custodial interrogation of the accused persons is justified.”

The CBI had alleged that the accused conspired in 2G spectrum licence allotment and caused losses of Rs 22,000 crore to the exchequer. It said Mr Raja showed undue favour to Swan Telecom in the grant of 2G licences, adding that the duo's interrogation could not be completed due to their evasive replies.

The CBI said it wants to question Mr Raja and Mr Balwa on the money trail and as well as confront them with other suspects and witnesses and many documents to unravel the details of the conspiracy. The CBI added that many issues have come to light during the probe and, therefore, charges of cheating and forgery were added against the accused.

Mr Balwa's counsel opposed the CBI's demand stating that Mr Balwa was engaged in bona fide commercial transactions and had not violated any law, while Mr Raja's counsel argued against extension of remand saying no new facts have come on record during the previous remand period.

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Published on February 14, 2011
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