New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister A Raja and his three associates arraigned in 2G spectrum scam appeared in Patiala House Court on Thursday. They were slated to appear in the court from Tihar jail, where they are now lodged, through video conferencing.

Due to some technical glitches in the video conferencing system linking the Tihar Jail and the Patiala House court complex, all the three including A Raja had to appear in person before the court.

The court in its hearing extended the judicial custody of Raja and his three associates by another fortnight.

The three others whose judicial custody was extended by Special Judge O P Saini till March 31 included former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja's former personal secretary R K Chandolia and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa.

CBI pleaded for continued judicial custody of the four saying the probe into the case was still going on and the accused, being "highly influential" persons, may tamper with the evidence and influence witnesses, if released now.

"The investigation is in progress and is at a crucial stage. Some more witnesses are yet to be examined and some more documents are to be collected," CBI said.

The probe agency said the judicial custody of the accused should be extended by 14 days for "effective and proper investigation" in the case.

After the proceedings for extension of judicial custody of the four accused, the court allowed them to meet their lawyers and family members in the courtroom itself for about 15 minutes.

The judge also sought the Tihar Jail Superintendent's report on an allegation by Balwa's advocate Vijay Aggarwal that despite the court's earlier order for a proper medical examination of his client for ailments of orthopaedic and gastric problems, he was not examined properly.

"The court had earlier directed the Superintendent for Medical Examination of Balwa as he is suffering from orthopaedic and gastric problems. But nothing has been done in this regard," Aggarwal said.

While seeking the Tihar jail official's explanation on the allegation by March 25, the court also decided to hear that day Balwa's plea for release of his mobile phone seized by CBI at the time of his arrest.

(JPN/Bureau)