2G scam: CBI question Raja and two others
Monday, 18 July 2011, 11:28 Hrs
New Delhi: A Delhi court allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to again interrogate former communications minister Andimuthu Raja and two other accused, who are in judicial custody, in the 2G scam case. Special CBI Judge O.P. Saini allowed the probe agency to question Raja, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura, and Gautam Doshi, a telecom company's official. "The CBI is allowed to interrogate the three accused Monday," the court said while pronouncing the order. The CBI's plea was, however, vehemently opposed by Doshi's counsel Hari Haran, who questioned the probe agency about the case in which they were sought to be interrogated. "For what purpose and in which case are they being interrogated. We should know about it...the agency cannot keep us in the dark," said counsel. The court rejected the plea and said the accused have no right to question the CBI on this issue. Meanwhile, the court also allowed the CBI to file additional documents in the case. "The prosecution may file additional documents and list of witnesses...the applications filed by the CBI are covered by the law and as such deserve to be allowed," the court said. The CBI July 12 filed an application before the court here to add 10 more witnesses, including the wife of an accused. It also filed a plea for the attachment of transcripts of taped conversations between corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and the accused. The applications were opposed by defense counsel who stated that this may "prejudice the rights of the accused" and they may not get a fair trial. "The additional list of documents and witnesses can be filed only in the form of supplementary charge sheet and not otherwise. The procedure being followed by the CBI is foreign to the law," said defence counsel. The submission was opposed by CBI counsel, who said: "when prosecution can conduct further investigation, it can also file additional list of documents and witnesses, if deemed necessary, after filing of the charge sheet". The court agreed with the CBI and said: "There is no specific prohibition that additional documents cannot be presented subsequent to the charge sheet. If some mistake is committed in not presenting the documents, then the investigating officer is open to present the same." "Considering the preliminary stage of prosecution, no prejudice is being caused to the accused," the court observed.