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Former Telecom minister Shourie to appear before CBI
New Delhi, Feb 22 (PTI/AGENCIES/IANS):
Published on 22 Feb. 2011 11:55 PM IST
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Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Shourie, who was communications minister during the NDA rule, will Feb 21 appear before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that has deepened its probe into the 2G spectrum scam, to answer queries about the telecom policy initiated since 2001.
“Shourie will appear before the CBI Feb 21,” an official told IANS Sunday, adding that he was not summoned but the agency is seeking his “cooperation” in connection with the probe into alleged irregularities into the allotment of second generation telephony spectrum - billed as one of the biggest corruption cases in the country.
The official said the former minister would be asked questions about the policy of first-come-first-served basis for giving licences that was initiated by the then cabinet led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2001. Shourie held the telecom portfolio from January 2003 to May 2004.
The CBI has approached Shourie for the its investigation into the Universal Access Service Licence (UASL) regime following a direction from the Supreme Court.
CBI submits status report
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Tuesday submitted to a local court its status report in the 2G spectrum case and suggested that all other cases relating to the spectrum allocation should be clubbed. The case was filed on the basis of a private complaint filed by Janata Dal leader Subramaninan Swamy naming Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK chief M. Karunanidhi as a co-accused along with former communications minister A. Raja in the 2G spectrum scam.
“The prosecution against Raja and the other co-accused in the scam is already taking place in the other CBI special court at Patiala House, therefore they should be clubbed,” states the CBI report.
Meanwhile, Swamy also stated before the court that he would be approaching the Supreme Court and would plead to club all the 2G related cases. Swamy also targeted DB Realty managing director Shahid Usman Balwa, a co-accused in the 2G scam, and said that Balwa owns a private airport in Palanpur, Gujarat.
ED quizzes Raja’s brother
Brother of former Telecom Minister A. Raja, was on Tuesday questioned for over three hours by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with its probe in the 2G spectrum scam.
Official sources said Perumal, a businessman, was summoned to the ED office in New Delhi for his statement regarding the financial dealings of some of the firms which he controlled.
Sources said he was quizzed for over three hours during which he also wrote down his statement.
Perumal has also been questioned by the CBI earlier in connection with their parallel probe into the scam.
The ED along with the CBI had also raided premises of his firms late last year.
Sources said the investigating teams are trying to find out if his companies acted as a front for Mr. Raja’s financial dealings. The agencies are probing the money trail in the scam.
Though officials were tight-lipped about the line of questioning, sources said, he was asked about financial transactions and his dealings with certain firms.
The ED has registered a case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in connection with the spectrum scam.
3 accused seek bail
Three accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scandal - R.K. Chandolia, Siddharth Behura and Shahid Usman Balwa - Tuesday moved bail applications in a lower court.
The bail pleas were filed before Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge O.P. Saini, who posted the matter for Feb 24.
The court extended till March 3 the judicial custody of former telecom secretary Behura and former communications minister A. Raja`s then personal secretary Chandolia. The judicial custody was extended so that they could be presented in court along with other two co-accused - Raja and Bawla, managing director of DB Realty. According to Raja’s counsel, the former minister’s bail application is expected to be moved in the next two-three days.
Behura’s defence counsel requested the court to defreeze his bank account as he had to make payments to hospitals and doctors on behalf of his wife who underwent a surgery.
His counsel submitted that all decisions relating to issue of 2G licences to telecom companies, which were under investigation by the CBI, were decided by the department of telecommunications (DoT) well before Behura joined the ministry.
“The decisions taken broadly related to pricing of licence, issue of dual technology, cut-off date and processing of applications on first-come-first-served basis. On joining the department, the applicant was only expected to execute and implement the policy decisions already taken by the DoT,” he said.

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