Raja, Balwa's remand extended in 2G scam

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New Delhi, Feb 14 (ANI): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was on Monday granted an extension of former Telecom Minister A Raja and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa's remand in connection with its probe into the 2G spectrum scam.

The Patiala House court here extended Raja's remand by two days, while the CBI was given four-days extension of Balwa during which the premier investigating agency hopes to get more information on the 2G scam.

As the two accused were produced before the court, the CBI reportedly claimed that it needed more time to question Raja.

The custody of Raja and Balwa was to end today.

Both Raja and Balwa were arrested for their alleged involvement in the 2G Spectrum allotment scam.

The two were made to face each other and answer questions relating to the grant of licence and undue favours extended to the company during 2008.

Earlier, the Supreme Court asked the government to constitute a special court to deal exclusively with the 2G spectrum scam.

The CBI told the apex court that it would file the first chargesheet in the 2G scam against A Raja and others under Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) for cheating and forgery by March 31.

The apex court said it favours a CBI investigation that also covers culpability of beneficiaries of the scam, as they are part of a larger conspiracy.

In its remand application, the CBI said Balwa's company Swan Telecom (a part of the Mumbai-based DB Realty) allegedly got favours in the spectrum allocation and caused the national exchequer a loss of over Rs.22,000 crore.

It also said Balwa allegedly conspired with private companies to sell to a Gulf firm at a huge profit the 2G spectrum licences Swan Telecom acquired at a cheap rate.

Balwa was the fourth high profile person arrested in connection with the scam.

The others arrested in connection with the case are former Telecom Minister A Raja, his personal secretary RK Chandolia and former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behuria.

Raja was forced to resign from the Union Cabinet last year after the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs.1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue. (ANI)

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