Former telecom minister and prime accused in the 2G spectrum case, A Raja, has objected to telephone intercepts of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia from being placed before the court which is conducting the trial.
Raja has sought the dismissal of CBI's application to place on record a CD containing 62 recorded conversations and transcripts of 50 additional calls, on the grounds there is no legal provision to file documents at "such a belated stage" of the trial". He also said that no reasons have been given by the CBI as to why the CD was not placed on record at the time the charge sheet in the case was filed.
Raja in his reply to the court has said that "Admittedly, primary evidence of call recording, that is, the hard disk has been with the CBI since May 20, 2005, yet the same has never been placed on record before the court either at the time of chargesheet or thereafter. In the view, of the said admission secondary evidence of calls cannot be allowed to be led."
So far, the CBI has placed only transcripts (not audio) of 12 of those 62 telephone conversations which it has relied upon for its case.
The 12 telephone intercepts include conversations between Radia and some of those accused in the 2G case.
The court will hear arguments on 9 July.
A crucial CBI witness, Radia's deposition will continue only after the court passes an order on whether the telephone intercepts can be brought on record at this stage.
In her statement to the court on 28 May, Radia had distanced herself from her earlier statement to the CBI by saying that she “did not have any authentic or personal knowledge” that Swan Telecom belonged to Reliance Communication.
She told the court that there were “dossiers in circulation stating that Swan Telecom belonged to Reliance Communication” and that it was “through public perception and advice of Tata’s advocates”, that she came to know that Swan Telecom was not eligible for allocation of spectrum.
However, in her earlier statement to the CBI (which is not admissible in court) Radia had been more forthright stating that “Regarding Swan Telecom, which was the only applicant to get the spectrum in Delhi circle, I would like to state that Swan Telecom as applicant was not even eligible for getting a UAS licence, in view of the cross holding clause. To the best of my understanding it was controlled entirely by Reliance Communications.”
The charge by the CBI against Reliance Telecom is that it used Swan Telecom, an ineligible company, as a front to get licenses and spectrum allocation. Three Reliance Telecom executives — Hari Nair, Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara — and Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka are facing trial in the case for their alleged roles in this connection.