statesman news service
New Delhi, 2 July
Former telecom minister A Raja, an accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case, today opposed CBI’s plea for placing on record a CD containing recorded conversations and transcripts of calls of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia related to this matter.
In a two-page reply before Special CBI Judge O P Saini, Raja said the agency’s plea did not mention the reason for not submitting these documents "at the time of filing of chargesheet." The judge deferred the hearing on the plea for 9 July.
“The application under reply is sans any provision of law. It is true to mention that there is no provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), 1973 under which a document or article can be filed before the trial court at such a belated stage… The application under reply does not mention the reason for not placing the impugned CD and transcripts at the time of filing of the chargesheet,” said Raja in his reply.
Raja added the agency has admitted that the alleged interception was not carried out by it yet its application does not establish either the time of preparation of the CD, or its handing over, or its safe custody. He also said that though the CBI’s application seeks to place on record a letter dated 20 May, 2010 of the Income tax Department but it has not been filed by the agency.
“In view of the said admission, secondary evidence of the calls cannot be allowed to be led… It is settled law that primary evidence of interception of calls cannot be withheld on the ground of confidentiality as contended by the CBI,” he said while contending that CBI’s plea was legally untenable.
The court also deferred for 9 July the hearing on CBI’s separate plea seeking to make 17 persons as witnesses in the case. CBI had moved the court, saying that out of the 62 taped conversations of 53-year-old Radia, it had already submitted transcripts of 12 conversations before it and now it wanted to place on record the rest for fairness.
Special Public Prosecutor U U Lalit had told the court these transcripts relate to the conversation between Radia and other individuals and the calls were intercepted by the Income Tax Department. In her deposition as a prosecution witness in the case, Radia had said that TTSL, which was ahead in the queue for allocation of 2G spectrum, lost the race while an “ineligible” Swan Telecom, said to be owned by ADAG Reliance Communications, was granted the radio wave.
In her statement recorded during the probe under section 161 of the CrPC (dealing with examination of witnesses) before CBI, Radia had said that STPL, facing trial in the 2G case, was “not eligible” to get the Unified Access Service (UAS) Licences.