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Court allows CBI to drop ED officer as witness in 2G case

A special court has allowed CBI to drop Enforcement Directorate's Assistant Director Satyendra Singh as a prosecution witness in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case. The order assumes importance as Singh was earlier included as an additional CBI witness after stiff opposition from the counsel for all the 2G case accused and the court overruling their objection.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:February 10, 2015, 7:03 PM IST
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Court allows CBI to drop ED officer as witness in 2G case
A special court has allowed CBI to drop Enforcement Directorate's Assistant Director Satyendra Singh as a prosecution witness in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case. The order assumes importance as Singh was earlier included as an additional CBI witness after stiff opposition from the counsel for all the 2G case accused and the court overruling their objection.

New Delhi: A special court has allowed CBI to drop Enforcement Directorate's Assistant Director Satyendra Singh as a prosecution witness in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case. The order assumes importance as Singh was earlier included as an additional CBI witness after stiff opposition from the counsel for all the 2G case accused and the court overruling their objection.

On Tuesday, the court's order came after CBI's prosecutor contended that the agency does not wish to examine Singh, who was earlier permitted to be examined as an additional witness in this case. Singh, along with four others including another ED officer Rajeshwar Singh, were allowed by the court to be examined as additional CBI witnesses in the 2G case in which former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi along with 15 others are facing trial.

Regarding the two ED officers, the court had noted that they investigated the transaction of Rs 200 crore under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act and must have come across certain facts relevant to this case, which cannot be prejudged or appreciated in advance.

Special CBI Judge OP Saini said that Satyendra Singh, Assistant Director of Enforcement Directorate (ED), was permitted to be examined as additional witness for the prosecution. "However, it is submitted by KK Goel, senior public prosecutor for CBI, that prosecution does not wish to examine him. In view of this submission, he is dropped from the list of additional witnesses to be examined by the prosecution," the court said.

The court has now fixed the matter for February 18 for recording statement of last additional witness Rajeshwar Singh, Deputy Director of the ED. Apart from Rajeshwar Singh and Satyendra Singh, the court had earlier allowed CBI to examine Under Secretary in Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Navil Kapur and D Mani, a bank official from Chennai. Besides these four persons, the court had also allowed CBI's plea seeking to recall General Manager (Finance) of Kalaignar TV (P) Ltd G Rajendran, who had earlier deposed as a witness in the case, for further examination.

Earlier, on September 10 last year, the special court had concluded recording of defence evidence in the case. In its charge sheet, CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the Supreme Court on February 2, 2012.

The recording of evidence in the case involving Raja and 16 others had started three years ago on November 11, 2011, after the court framed charges against the 17 accused named in the first two charge sheets filed by the agency. Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja's erstwhile private secretary RK Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra, three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG)-- Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair-- are facing trial in the case.

Directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, Kalaignar TV Director Sharad Kumar and Bollywood producer Karim Morani are also accused in the case. Besides these 14 accused persons, three telecom firms -- Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL), Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd -- are facing trial in the case.

The court had on October 22, 2011 framed charges against them under various provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating,forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe. The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.

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