Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2G scam: CBI grills Raja for the fourth time

BY-Punem Sexena _NEW DELHI: Former telecom minister A Raja is being grilled by the CBI for the fourth time in connection with the 2G spectrum scam.

Raja reached CBI headquarters early on Wednesday morning for another round of questioning by the investigative agency.

CBI sleuths had questioned Raja for the third time on Monday.

According to sources, CBI asked him about the role of some of his kin in a few offshoot companies of some telecom firms besides the flow of funds.

Following this on Tuesday, the CBI had quizzed Raja's brother and a close associate.

Official sources said Raja's brother - A Kaliya Perumal was questioned for over seven hours at the agency's headquarters.

They said a close associate of Raja was also questioned.

Sources said the agency is in the process of questioning everyone whose premises were searched by it in connection with its ongoing probe into the scam.

Though officials were tight-lipped about the line of questioning, sources said, Perumal was questioned on certain financial transactions and his dealings with certain firms.

Raja was forced to resign on November 14 last year in the wake of the CAG report which held that the spectrum allocation at undervalued prices resulted in a notional loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore to the state exchequer.

Raja got the telecom portfolio on May 18, 2007 and was re-elected as a member of the 15th Lok Sabha and continued as telecom minister from May 31, 2009, till November 14, 2010 before he tendered his resignation.

The Supreme Court has asked CBI and Enforcement Directorate to submit status reports on their investigations into the 2G spectrum case to it by February 10 when the case will come up for further hearing.

In its FIR, CBI mentioned the loss as Rs 22,000 crore based on CVC findings which had referred the case to it.

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