New Delhi: Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and some top officials of TV channels have been examined by the CBI in its investigations into the allegation against Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy and two scribes that they had interfered with the probe in the 2G spectrum case, the Supreme Court was told on Monday. JPN/Agencies
However, the CBI said it was yet to track down the telephonic conversations between those TV journalists and investigators from Enforcement Directorate who were allegedly
approached in connection with the probe of 2G case.
The statement was made by senior advocate K K Venugopal, who read out the findings of investigation by the CBI which filed its report in a sealed cover.
A Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly was also informed that CBI was probing the allegations from all angles and was looking for independent witnesses and documents.
"Niira Radia has been examined," Venugopal said adding that they were examined more than once as there were some contradictions in their statement.
The court on May 6 had said there was a prima facie case against Roy and two journalists-- Upendra Rai and Subodh Jain -- of Sahara India News Network for interfering with the
2G probe and had issued notices for contempt.
The notices were issued on the petition filed by ED's Assistant Director Rajeshwar Singh, who is the investigating officer in the 2G spectrum case.
Venugopal said CBI has also examined Singh, his elder brother Rameshwar Singh, an Indian Revenue Service officer of 1988 batch. Sharat Chaudhary, Assistant Director in the ED,
has also been questioned twice by the agency, he said.
Upendra Rai and Subodh Jain have also been examined by the CBI, Venugopal said adding that Sudhir Chaudhary, CEO of TV channel Live India has also recorded his statement.
"Upender Rai denied having offered bribe to anyone, either to Sharat Chaudhary or Rajeshwar Singh," the senior advocate said.
"We are still awaiting some reports. Evidence found till now is insufficient," Venugopal said on behalf of the CBI, which was granted a month's time to complete the probe on the issue.
The bench took on record the counter affidavit filed by Roy and two journalists and asked the ED to respond within two days so that rejoinders could be filed and listed the matter for August 4.
Jain brought to the notice of the bench that after the incident he has been sacked by the channel and wished to become a witness for the CBI.
The bench said he could approach the CBI in this regard. The bench had on May 6 suo motu issued contempt notices and taken serious note of the fact that after summons were issued to the CMD of Sahara group under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, from February 2 onwards, "crude methods" were adopted to terrorise, intimidate and blackmail ED's Assistant Director Rajeshwar Singh, who is the investigating officer in the 2G spectrum case.
The bench had also banned Sahara India News Network and its sister concerns from publishing and broadcasting any story or programme relating to Singh.
The court was anguished that after summons were issued asking Roy to appear before the ED with documents relating to some transactions regarding Chennai-based S-Tel which has
come under the CBI scanner, Rai and Jain became active and tried to interfere with the investigation.
Singh, who filed the petition in his personal capacity, claimed that Jain sent him 25 questions relating to him and his families assets, contacts and others and threatened to start a campaign against him by publishing and broadcasting a series of stories.
Attachment proceedings on: ED to SC
Proceedings for attachment of properties have begun against persons and companies already charge sheeted by CBI in 2G telecom spectrum allocation scam,
the Supreme Court was told by Enforcement Directorate.
"The proceedings for attachment of properties in cases where charge- sheets have been filed by CBI has commenced. If they get acquitted, the confiscation will stand reversed," senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for ED, told a bench of justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly.
Venugopal placed before the court the fresh status report filed by ED and read out its contents about the probe done against several companies including Swan Telecom which is
alleged to be the front company of ADAG's Reliance Telecom.
He said the money trail has led ED to the United Kingdom, Singapore, Russia, Cyprus, Mauritius and the Isle of man.
The senior advocate said six complaints under Foreign Exchange Mangement Act (FEMA) and Prevention of Money Laudering Act (PMLA) have been registered against some
companies and their people who also included Managing Director of a telecom company who is in jail.
ED was apparently referring to Shahid Balwa whose Swan Telecom was allegedly used as front company for the Reliance Telecom.
The bench gave a month's time to ED to complete its investigation in which investigators have trailed the money allegedly siphoned off by Raja and some others to Cyprus.
SC disfavours idea of SIT to monitor 2G probe
Meanwhile, the Apex Court on Monday disapproved the idea of setting up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) for effective monitoring of the probe into 2G spectrum scam saying "CBI and ED were on the right course" and "any inteference at this stage may jeopardize" the probe.
"CBI and ED are on the right course and have done good work. At this stage, any interference may jeopardize the investigation. We would not comment on the pending inquiry. It would be appropriate to let CBI complete the probe," a bench comprising Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly said.
The bench made the remarks when advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for an NGO, drew the attention of the judges that another bench in the blackmoney matter has constituted a SIT headed by the apex court for monitoring the probe.
The bench pointed to the work done by CBI under its monitoring and said the agency has filed charge sheet and supplementary charge sheet in the case.
Bhushan had said that for effective monitoring of the probe, people who are retired and have knowledge of investigation could be brought in so that sufficient time can be
devoted to the investigation.
New Delhi: Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and some top officials of TV channels have been examined by the CBI in its investigations into the allegation against Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy and two scribes that they had interfered with the probe in the 2G spectrum case, the Supreme Court was told on Monday.