Former telecom minister A Raja, arrested for his alleged role in 2G Spectrum allocation scam, was sent to Tihar Jail by a Delhi court on Thursday under 14-days’ judicial custody. “The accused is remanded in judicial custody till March 3,” Special CBI judge O P Saini said. The judge also directed the Tihar Jail authorities to let the former minister have access to home-made food, besides his medicines. The court gave this direction to the jail superintendent on a plea made by Raja’s counsel Ramesh Gupta.
Raja was arrested on February 2 for his alleged role in 2G spectrum allocation scam, which, as per the CBI, has caused a pecuniary loss of Rs 22,000 crore to the state exchequer. The former minister is alleged to have manipulated rules to favour some telecom companies including Swan Telecom and Unitech Private Limited in allocation of spectrum at throwaway prices. Along with him, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura and his former personal secretary R K Chandolia were also arrested. Behura and Chandolia were later sent to Tihar Jail under judicial custody on February 8, the day the CBI made the fourth arrest in the case — that of Dynamix Balwas (DB) group Managing Director and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa. The CBI picked him up in Mumbai and brought him to Delhi on a transit remand. Balwa is presently in the CBI custody undergoing interrogation at the CBI headquarters. He is to be produced before the court on Friday following expiry of his four-day custody with the agency.
The CBI meanwhile, questioned ADAG chairman Anil Ambani amid allegations that his group received favours from Raja in getting dual technology and a role for Reliance Telecom in promoting Swan Telecom. Swan Telecom, in which Tiger Traders Private Limited have 90.13 and RTL has 9.87 equity share capital, has been under the scanner over alleged diversion of funds to DMK-owned Kalaignar television. Ambani, 51, is believed to have clarified to the CBI “about the ongoing issues” related to the possible role of Reliance Telecom Limited (RTL), a subsidiary of ADAG, in Swan.