Raja quizzed by CBI

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) CBI today questioned formerTelecom Minister A Raja for the third time in connection withthe funding and allegedly showing favours to some telecomcompanies in granting 2G spectrum between October 2007 and2008.

Raja, who was questioned earlier on December 24 and 25last year, was called to CBI office this morning and quizzedfor nearly nine hours, official sources said.

The DMK MP was asked about his convesrations withcorporate lobbiyst Niira Radia and the reasons of advancingthe cut-off date of allocation of the spectrum in 2007.

Some of the questions pertained to the role of some ofthe kin of the former minister in a few offshoot companies ofthese telecom firms besides the flow of funds.

Raja was confronted with some documents recovered by theagency during searches on Department of Telecom offices inOctober 2009 after registering a case against unnamed officersof DoT and telecom companies, the sources said.

While Raja was allowed to go home today, CBI sourcessaid he would be called again when he would be confronted withsome more questions and documents recovered from the computersseized during raids conducted by the investigation agency.

Raja was questioned at length on the circumstancesleading to spectrum allocation which has been criticisedseverely by Central Vigilance Commission and the Comptrollerand Auditor General (CAG).

Raja was forced to resign on November 14 last year inthe wake of the CAG report which held that the spectrumallocation at undervalued prices resulted in a notional lossof Rs.1.76 lakh crore to the state exchequer.

Raja got the telecom portfolio on May 18, 2007 and wasre-elected as a Member of the 15th Lok Sabha and continuedas Telecom Minister from May 31, 2009, till November 14, 2010before he tendered his resignation.

The Supreme Court has asked CBI and EnforcementDirectorate to submit status reports on their investigationsinto the 2G spectrum case to it by February 10 when the casewill come up for further hearing.

In its FIR, CBI mentioned the loss as Rs 22,000 crorebased on CVC findings which had referred the case to it.

Radia was quizzed by CBI last week as she had comeunder the scanner after her tapped telephonic conversationswith various influential people including industrialists,politicians and journalists became public.

CBI has also questioned former Telecom RegulatoryAuthority of India (TRAI) chief Pradip Baijal, a 1966 batchIAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, and former TelecomSecretaries Siddarth Behura and D S Mathur in connection withthe case.

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