New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister A Raja on Monday alleged in a court here that CBI has put pressure on his former aide Aseervatham Achary, a key 2G spectrum case witness, to depose falsely against him as the agency failed to find anything to "link" him with other accused in the case. 2G: SC issues notice to CBI on bail pleas of Chandolia, Behura (Agencies)
Achary, Raja's ex-Additional Private Secretary, however, denied the allegation of the former Telecom Minister saying "it is wrong to suggest that I am deposing falsely."
Raja's counsel Sushil Kumar told Achary that as Raja did not promote him in politics, he chose to become a false witness for the CBI in the case.
"You became a CBI witness under the pressure of CBI that you will also be made an accused in the case"", Kumar said while cross-examining Achary.
"It is wrong to suggest that I became a witness in this case only when CBI could not find anything to connect Raja with other accused persons. It is wrong to suggest that I was under pressure of CBI because of the possession of assets disproportionate to my known sources of income," Achary told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.
He said "it is wrong to suggest that I was unhappy with A Raja as he did not promote me in politics. It is wrong to suggest that for these reasons I chose to become a false witness against him for the prosecution (CBI)."
Achary had earlier told the court that Swan Telecom Promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra used to meet Raja regularly during his stint with the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2004-07.
He had said these corporate executives, co-accused in 2G case, also used to meet Raja's private secretary R K Chandolia for clearances of their real-estate projects from the Environment Ministry.
Responding to a query from the defence counsel regarding his political ambitions, Achary denied he had spoken to Raja about helping him in procuring a Congress ticket in 2009 general election.
Testifying as the seventh prosecution witness in the case, Achary also denied the defence counsel's contention that he decided to leave Raja during his tenure in Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MOC&IT) as the minister had "declined to help" him in getting Congress' nomination.
Achary told the court that he had travelled with Raja to Chennai in October 2008 as a press conference in connection with telecom issues was scheduled but he failed to recollect that Raja spoke about the difference between 3G and 2G there.
He also denied he had unauthorisedly collected some documents from the MOC&IT while leaving the ministry and supplied the same to a journalist of an English daily.
When Raja's counsel questioned Achary if he became a CBI source in October 2009 when the FIR in the 2G case was registered by the agency, the witness said he had no contact with CBI till he was questioned by the agency.
"It is wrong to suggest that in October 2009, I became a source for CBI. I am not aware when the FIR in the case was registered by CBI. It is correct that from the date of registration of the FIR till I was questioned by CBI, I had no contact with it," he said.
Janata Party Chief Subramanian Swamy's book on the 2G case titled "2G Spectrum" was also referred to by Raja's counsel who asked the witness whether he was the same who was named as 'Ashirvatham Achari' in the book.
Achary said he used to visit Swamy's house to meet his wife but he could not say that the name referred to as 'Achari' in the book was he or some other person.
New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister A Raja on Monday alleged in a court here that CBI has put pressure on his former aide Aseervatham Achary, a key 2G spectrum case witness, to depose falsely against him as the agency failed to find anything to "link" him with other accused in the case.
2G: SC issues notice to CBI on bail pleas of Chandolia, Behura