Radia questioned by CBI in Sahara 2G scam bribe case

hidden July 11, 2011 22:22:13 IST
Radia questioned by CBI in Sahara 2G scam bribe case

New Delhi: The CBI today examined corporate lobbyist Niira Radia in the proceedings against Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy and two scribes, Upendra Rai and Subodh Jain who are accused of interfering with the probe in the 2G spectrum scam. Besides Radia some top officials of TV channels were also examined by the CBI in its investigations, the Supreme Court was told today.

However, the CBI said that it was still unable to lay hands on the telephonic conversations between the TV journalists and investigators, Sharat Chaudhary and Rajeshwar Singh from Enforcement Directorate who were allegedly approached by the two journalists from the Sahara News Network.

Radia questioned by CBI in Sahara 2G scam bribe case

Niira Radia in this file photo. Image courtesy: CNN-IBN

The statements to the Supreme court were made by senior advocate K K Venugopal, who read out the findings of investigation by the CBI which had filed its report in a sealed cover.

A Bench of justices GS Singhvi and AK 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 who were 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 the 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 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.

PTI

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