Raja remanded to 4 more days of CBI custody

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New Delhi, Feb 10 (PTI) Former Telecom Minister A Rajawas today remanded to CBI custody for four more days by aspecial CBI court along with Swan Telecom promoter ShahidUsman Balwa for questioning in connection with their role inthe 2G spectrum allocation scam.

"Considering the serious nature and facts of the case,further recovery of the documents and the need for furtherconfrontation of the accused with each other and documents aswell as their consequent interrogation, I find merit in thesubmission of the investigating agency seeking grant of fourdays police custody remand of both the accused," said SpecialJudge O P Saini, while remanding the duo to be in CBI custodytill February 14.

"Prayer is allowed. Both the accused are remanded topolice custody till February 14," the judge said.

Raja was arrested on February 2 and remanded to CBIcustody initially for five days the next day.

On February 8, he was again remanded to CBI''s custodyfor two more days after the agency told the court that he wasnot cooperating during questioning and was being evasive.

CBI sought four days of custodial interrogation ofRaja and Balwa, saying it is necessary for further probe.

Balwa''s arrest was necessary as he had been evading theagency, it said.

The agency counsel Akhilesh said the custody of boththe accused was required for their confrontation with eachother and that with various documents seized by the CBIduring the probe.

It further said Balwa was not giving proper answers toquestions concerning the share holding in Swan telecom and hehas been hiding facts from the agency.

"He is a highly influential person," said the CBIcounsel, seeking the remand for the duo.

Counsel for both Raja and Balwa opposed the CBI pleawith latter''s counsel Vijay Kumar Aggarwal contending that hisclient has appeared at the CBI office on 27 occasions forinterrogation.

He added if the accused is cooperating in the probe,there is no need for his arrest and custodial interrogation.

Balwa''s counsel also argued that a person cannot bearrested unless the offence is of grievous nature and unlessit is necessary to recover some incriminating materialnecessary for investigation.

He also said a general statement that the accusedcan give further information cannot form the basis to remandhim to police custody.

Asserting that his client has been cooperating withthe investigating agency, Aggarwal added that Balwa was calledto appear at the CBI office on February 6 and 7 when hismother had been admitted in Lilavati Hospital suffering fromcardiac ailment.

He said the investigating agency has obtainednon-bailable warrant against Balwa by concealing the fact thathe is cooperating with the investigating agency.

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