Fresh charges of forgery and cheating against Raja, Balwa

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New Delhi, Feb 14 (PTI) CBI has brought fresh charges offorgery and cheating against former Telecom Minister and SwanTelecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa who have been arrested inconnection with 2G spectrum allocation scam case.

CBI counsel Akhilesh, seeking extension of the remand ofRaja and Balwa, today told Special Judge O P Saini that "whileinvestigation is in progress, things are coming to light andso sections 420 (cheating) and 468 (forgery) of IPC have beenadded" against both.

Earlier, charges under the Prevention of Corruption Actwere levelled against Raja and Balwa was accused of conspiracyunder the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The court remanded Raja and Balwa to CBI''s custody tillFebruary 17 citing "the enormity" of the crime.

While Raja was remanded today to CBI custody for 3 moredays for interrogation on his alleged role in 2G spectrumallocation scam Usman''s custody was extended by four days.

Judge Saini extended Raja''s custody, ignoring hisallegation that CBI was being driven by political motiveinstead of probing the case against him.

Opposing CBI''s plea for extension of his client''scustody, Raja''s counsel Ramesh Gupta told the court "what isthe purpose of police custody? (It''s not clear) whether they(CBI) want it for unearthing the conspiracy or have politicalmotive. CBI should not make it a political game and theyshould investigate only".

However, the judge said "the crime is enormous in natureand its investigation is time-consuming. Accordingly,considering the enormity of the crime, complex and complicatednature of the investigation, voluminous documents involved inthe case, I find that the prayer for further custodialinterrogation of the accused persons is justified.

The 47-year-old DMK leader, who has been facing anintense grilling by CBI sleuths for the last 11 days at theagency headquarters, opposed CBI''s plea saying "no new factshave come on record during the previous police custodyremand."

"There is no justification for extension of policecustody remand," contended Gupta.

Seeking extension of remand, senior public prosecutorAkhilesh, said both the accused were confronted with eachother during the custodial interrogation but they were"evasive in their replies".

Balwa''s lawyer Vijay Aggarwal told the court that "CBIhas not put forward any specific evidence for seekingextension of police custody remand and has only made ageneral statement without any substance".

He said the investigating agency has, however, added twomore sections of the Indian Penal Code relating to charges ofcheating and forgery in the case against the accused.

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