Special CBI Judge O P Saini started the recording of the statement of the accused by saying that it was a "direct conversation" between the accused and the judge.
"Now the statement of accused will be recorded. It is a direct conversation between the accused and the judge...you (accused) may chose to reply or not reply," the judge said.
The stage for the recording of evidence of Raja and 16 other accused, including DMK MP Kanimozhi, was set earlier when the court had supplied a draft questionnaire containing 1,718 questions running into 824 pages to the accused.
Meanwhile, the special court which was also scheduled to record the statements of promoters of Essar Group and Loop Telecom, who are facing trial in a case arising out of the probe into the 2G spectrum scam, deferred their deposition before it to May 19.
"I think there will be no time for you today. The matter is adjourned for recording of statement of accused to May 19," the judge said.
Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Essar Group Director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf are facing trial in the case along with three firms -- Loop Telecom Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holding Ltd. All of them have denied the charges levelled by CBI in the case, arising out of the probe into the 2G spectrum scam.
In the case involving Raja and 16 others, the court had on November 27 last year concluded recording of prosecution evidence after deposition of CBI's Superintendent of Police Vivek Priyadarshi, the chief investigating officer, got over.