Raja, two others remanded in CBI custody for 5 days

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 3 (PTI) The CBI today accused formerTelecom Minister A Raja of causing a loss of Rs 22,000 croreto the exchequer by favouring some telecom firms in award ofthe 2G spectrum licences and demanded his custody for fivedays, which a city court granted.

Raja, former Telecom Secretary Siddartha Behura and Raja''sformer Personal Secretary R K Chandolia, were produced beforeSpecial CBI Judge O P Saini a day after they were arrested inconnection with the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Wearing a grey safari suit, the 47-year-old DMK MPappeared cool and composed and greeted the judge with foldedhands.

His counsel Ramesh Gupta sought time for a privateconversation with Raja, which the judge allowed for tenminutes.

Seeking their custody, CBI counsel Akhilesh argued thatRaja had caused a loss of Rs 22,000 crores to the publicexchequer by favouring some telecom firms in award of the 2Gspectrum licences.

He said due to Raja, at least two telecom firms, includingSwan Telecom and Unitech, were benefited to the tune ofseveral hundred crores of rupees by selling their stakes tovarious other global firms shortly after getting licences.

The CBI said the former minister''s custody was essentialfor further questioning because he had been evasive inreplying to their queries during his interrogation earlier atthe agency''s headquarters.

This is for the first time that the CBI is directlyaccusing Raja of complicity in the 2G scam after it had filedan FIR against unknown officials and private persons andcompanies on October 21, 2009.

Though the agency has pegged the loss at Rs 22,000 crorebased on the calculations made by the CVC, the CAG had in itsreport had projected a presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.


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