CBI opposes Raja bail,says probing fresh Rs 200-crore bribery charge

The CBI opposed the bail plea of former telecom minister A Raja

Written by Jayant Sriram | New Delhi | Published:May 12, 2012 12:39 am

The CBI on Friday opposed the bail plea of former telecom minister A Raja,telling a court here that it was looking into a fresh allegation that the DMK MP had received a bribe of Rs 200 crore in connection with the case.

“Raja and other public servants are also involved in another tranche of Rs 200 crore which they have used as bribe and this was not known earlier,” CBI prosecutor AK Singh told Special CBI Judge OP Saini who is hearing the 2G spectrum cases. The agency,however,did not specify the source of this bribe amount.

The agency said it was also investigating Raja’s links with a Mauritius-based firm Delphi,to which Reliance Telecom had allegedly transferred shares.

Judge Saini’s court had earlier issued a letter to a court in Mauritius,asking for their cooperation in investigating the alleged money trail from Reliance.

The prosecutor said investigation in the Delphi case and the suspected money trail from Reliance were ongoing and Raja might influence witnesses or tamper with evidence if he was released on bail.

Appearing for Raja earlier,senior advocate Ramesh Gupta said all of the other co-accused had been granted bail and even the Supreme Court,in its order granting bail to former telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura,had not distinguished the case of a public servant with others.

“State made an attempt to distinguish the cases of the accused,because some were public servants. But the Supreme Court said it was not inclined to agree,” Gupta said.

The CBI prosecutor,however,said that Raja could not claim parity with Behura as the latter had not taken a bribe in abuse of his official position.

“There is no allegation that in abuse of official position he (Behura) accepted rewards. That is the big difference in the positions,” Singh said.

The CBI also argued that several witnesses connected with the alleged bribe transaction of Rs 200 crore from the DB Group companies to DMK-run Kalaignar TV were yet to be examined and many of them were from Tamil Nadu,Raja’s home state.

“Raja is a resident of Tamil Nadu,and allegations are of bribes from a company that is based in Tamil Nadu,with many witnesses from TN as well. He would be in a position to influence these witnesses,” Singh said.

Loop,Essar promoters: Order reserved for May 25

A Delhi Court on Friday reserved for May 25 its order on framing of charges against Essar group and Loop Telecom promoters for allegedly committing offences of cheating and criminal conspiracy for obtaining the 2G spectrum licences from government.

ENS

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