HC issues notice to CBI on A Raja’s plea

The Delhi high court on Monday issued notice to the CBI on former communications minister A Raja’s plea to dismiss charges against him in the 2G case on the grounds the probe was biased. Issuing notice, Justice AK Pathak sought a reply from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) within four weeks and posted the matter for 6 September. Raja, who was arrested in February 2011 and spent 15 months in prison before getting bail, contended in the petition that the CBI special judge hearing the case erred in holding that there was illegality in the manner spectrum was allocated.

The former minister also alleged that the chargesheet filed in the case showed a bias in the investigation as it was silent on the telecom licences issued during 2003-07, the period before the allocation of licences under Raja in 2008.

‘During the period 2003-07, a total of 51 licences were issued by the DoT [department of telecommunication]. These were issued on the same terms and conditions as those issued by the DoT under the petitioner in the year 2008. Yet the charge sheet has chosen to remain silent on this aspect, which shows the bias in its investigation. The special judge has also ignored this aspect altogether, which is a grave error,’ said Raja, a DMK MP, in his petition. He further said that CBI special judge O P Saini failed to appreciate that the decisions and actions of Raja as minister on the issues relating to allotment and pricing of 2G spectrum were fully in conformity with the department’s consistent policy.

Raja claimed the successive governments had chosen to allocate telecom licences and spectrum on a basis other than revenue maximisation.
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