A Raja, two others remanded in CBI custody for five days

New Delhi, Feb 3 (PTI) Former Telecom Minister A Rajawas today allowed to be interrogated in CBI custody for fivedays by a Delhi court which said the charge of loss ofRs 22,000 crore in award of the 2G spectrum licences to somecompanies by his decisions "are very serious".

"The allegations against the accused (Raja, SiddharthBehura, R K Chandolia) are that they allotted the UnifiedAccess Service Licences (UASL) in violation of rules andprocedure and caused huge loss estimated to be Rs 22,000crore to the state exchequer.

"The allegations are very serious on the face of itand required no elaboration. Accordingly, considering thenature of the allegations, seriousness and gravity of offencesand consequent need of interrogation of accused in the lightof the allegations, I am satisfied that the prayer for policecustody remand is justified," Special CBI Judge O P Saini saidwhile remanding them in CBI''s custody till February 8.

The 47-year-old DMK leader, former Telecom SecretarySiddharth Behura and his former Personal Secretary R KChandolia, were produced around 2 pm in the packed courtroomamid tight security cover, a day after their arrest.

The probe agency, which had lodged an FIR on October21, 2009 against some unknown persons in the case, hadyesterday arrested Raja and the two top officials undervarious provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of CorruptionAct, relating to the offence of criminal conspiracy and abuseof official position.

Wearing a grey safari suit, Raja, the dalit face ofDMK, greeted the judge raising his folded hands over his headand remained composed during the half-an-hour-long hearing.

Initiating the arguments for the CBI, seniorprosecutor Akhilesh alleged that Raja and others had causedthe loss of Rs 22,000 crore, which, he said, may go up, to theGovernment of India by abusing their official position and bythe acts of "omissions and commissions".

"For unearthing the entire conspiracy, their furtherinterrogation is required as they are also required to beconfronted with various documents and moreover, Raja isevasive in his responses," the prosecutor said.

Instead of opting for the bidding process in allottingthe costly radio waves in 2008, the former minister went forthe first-come-first-serve basis, he said, adding thateven the rates were "nominal" which were fixed in 2001. (MORE)PTI SJK ABA VSC

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