2G scam: SC gives CBI two more days to file charge sheet

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Supreme Court
New Delhi, Mar 29: The Supreme Court today allowed a two-day extension to the CBI to file on April 2 its charge sheet against former Telecom Minister A Raja and others in the 2G spectrum allocation case even as the agency said it was readying an 80,000-page document for submission.

In their status reports on the probe into the scam, given to the court in a sealed cover, the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) informed a bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly that the case involved large-scale violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act and benami transactions.

After going through the report, the bench allowed the CBI plea that the agency be granted two more days to file the charge sheet in the case. The court had earlier given the CBI the deadline of March 31 for the purpose.

The ED, in its report, said in violation of RBI guidelines, foreign money was invested in many telecom companies, after they were granted licences during Raja's tenure as telecom minister.

Giving fresh details about its probe, the ED informed the court that Rs 106.95 crore was received by a telecom company in lieu of just one share while the market value of the share was just Rs 270.

The apex court was also informed by the ED that it would start attaching and confiscating the properties of erring telecom companies for violating FEMA soon after filing of the charge sheet.

The ED, in its report, also informed the court about various investments made in telecom companies. The investments originated from several foreign countries, it said.

It said most of these transactions took place after licences were given to the telecom firms during Raja''s tenure.

It told the court that a joint team of the CBI and the ED would be sent to foreign countries, starting from Mauritius, to track the trail of the FDI in erring telecom companies involved in 2G scam.

The ED also placed before the court the transcripts of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia's telephonic conversations with various people, tapped by the Income Tax department.

The CBI and the ED had earlier informed the court that charge sheet would be filed against the former minister on various charges including those of corruption, money laundering, cheating and forgery.

The Delhi Government had yesterday issued a notification designating Additional Sessions Judge Om Prakash Saini as a special judge to exclusively undertake the trial of 2G scam.

In a separate notification, the Finance Ministry designated his court as special court to deal with offences under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002.

Saini had earlier dealt with the case as special CBI judge and all the matters connected to the scam including a private complaint filed by Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy is pending before him.

The CBI had informed the apex court that the first charge sheet will be filed against Raja and two companies and later on charges would be filed against other accused persons.

"This is only the beginning and many people and companies would also be chargesheeted later on," the CBI had told the bench which had asked the agency to appoint a suitable prosecutor for the trial.

"Look out for the best man. We want the most competent person to be appointed as the special public prosecutor and he will deal with no other case," the bench had said.

PTI

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