2G: Court to record statements of additional witnesses tomorrow

New Delhi: A special court today fixed for tomorrow recording of statements of five additional CBI witnesses in the 2G spectrum allocation case in which former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others are facing trial.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini, who was scheduled to record the statements of the witnesses today, could not proceed as one of the five witnesses who was summoned did not appear before it as summons issued for him could not be served.

Senior public prosecutor K K Goel told the court that D Mani, a bank official from Chennai, was to appear today but the summons issued to him has returned unserved as he has since retired.

"No other PW (prosecution witness) is present or served for today. Put up the matter for further prosecution evidence on January 28," the judge said. Besides Mani, the other prosecution witnesses to be examined in the case are Enforcement Directorate (ED) Deputy Director Rajeshwar Singh, ED's Assistant Director Satyendra Singh and Under Secretary in Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Navil Kapur.

Apart from these four persons, the court had also allowed CBI's plea seeking to recall General Manager (Finance) of Kalaignar TV (P) Ltd G Rajendran, who had earlier deposed as a witness in the case, for further examination.

Earlier, on September 10 last year, the special court had concluded recording of defence evidence in the case. In its charge sheet, CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.

The recording of evidence in the case involving Raja and 16 others had started three years ago on November 11, 2011, after the court had framed charges against the 17 accused named in the first two charge sheets filed by the agency.

Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja's erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG)-- Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair-- are facing trial in the case.

Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV Director Sharad Kumar and Bollywood producer Karim Morani are also accused in the case.

Besides these 14 accused persons, three telecom firms -- Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL), Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd -- are facing trial in the case.

The court had on October 22, 2011 framed charges against them under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating,forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.

The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.

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