Raja, 11 others formally charged in 2G telecom case
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) yesterday filed its first chargesheet of 127 pages with 80,000-page annexure against nine people and three firms in the case involving the allocation of second generation (2G) telecom spectrum.
The chargesheet, brought in seven steel boxes, was filed in the special court of CBI Judge O.P. Saini.
Among those named are former communications minister A. Raja, his personal aide R.K. Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa, director Vinod Goenka and Unitech Wireless director Sanjay Chandra.
Raja has been accused on several counts.
Three officials from the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group — Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara — as also three companies, Unitech, Reliance and Swan telecom, were also named as accused in the allocation of spectrum.
Among the individuals, four are already in judicial custody. The court issued summons to the others asking them to appear before it by April 13.
The three officials of the Anil Ambani Group were named in the chargesheet for allegedly concealing the in-eligibility of Swan Telecom for the grant of spectrum, said one of the investigative officers in the case. Unitech, too, the chargesheet alleged was ineligible as the company did not have the necessary amendment in its memorandum and articles of association to enter the telecom business.
"The public is reminded the above findings are based on the investigation done by CBI and evidence collected by it," the probe agency said. "Under the Indian law, the accused are presumed to be innocent until their guilt is finally established after a fair trial."
The accused have been charged under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, including cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.
"We have 125 witnesses on whose information the agency has attached 654 documents to the chargesheet in the case," said a CBI official.
"In the entire episode, the government incurred a loss of Rs309.8 billion (Dh24.8 billion). Swan and Unitech telecom were the two companies totally ineligible for the licence allocation," the official added.
Regarding Raja's close associate Sadiq Batcha, who was found dead under mysterious circumstances at his Chennai home last month, the probe agency said that they were tracing the alleged kick-backs in the scam that could have been routed through him.