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Tata was first in line but RCom got 2G licence, Radia tells court

May 28, 2013 01:39 PM IST Politics Politics

New Delhi: Former corporate lobbyist Nira Radia appeared in a Delhi court on Tuesday as a key prosecution witness in the 2G spectrum case. In her deposition, Radia said that although Tata was first in line for 2G licences for the Delhi circle, the company did not win the bid.

Radia said this happened despite the Department of Telecom advising Tata Teleservice verbally that it would be granted spectrum as and when its turn came. But it was Swan Telecom, owned by Reliance Communications, which got the licence.

Radia says that her information was based on media reports and a dossier that was in circulation. The CBI has now sought permission to submit 62 transcripts related to this case in court. The court deferred the recording of Radia's statement till July 2.

Radia, who was scheduled to appear in court on December 5, 2012, to testify as a CBI witness, had sought three months' time on the grounds that she had undergone a surgery for a neurological ailment. The CBI had submitted in the first week of May its list of prosecution witnesses to be called for recording of their statements before Special CBI Judge OP Saini and Radia's deposition was slated for May 28. CBI, in its chargesheet filed on April 2, 2011 against former Telecom Minister A Raja and others, had named Radia as a prosecution witness in the case.

The CBI, in its chargesheet, had alleged that Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL), an accused in the case, used Swan Telecom, an ineligible firm, as its front company to get licences and the costly radio waves. Swan Telecom and its promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, RTL and three top executives of Reliance ADAG - Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair, along with others, are facing trial for their alleged roles in the case.

During the probe into the case, Radia had told CBI that she had talked to DMK MP Kanimozhi, also an accused in the 2G case, after the 2009 general elections. In her statement recorded by the CBI on January 29, 2011, Radia had refuted the allegation that she had approached Kanimozhi to get Telecom Ministry for Raja in the Cabinet.

"During the discussion with Kanimozhi when she was in Delhi, we discussed the likely candidature from DMK for the Cabinet. As I remember, A Raja was not interested in the Telecom Ministry. "Neither I approached Kanimozhi to get A Raja the Ministry of Telecom nor was I that competent for that big task," she had told the agency.

She had also told the CBI that former Telecom Minister Dayanidhi Maran had "created a lot of problems to Tata Group" and thus, she was concerned about his portfolio as Tatas were a client of her PR agency. Radia had got the contract from Tatas for public relation work which she carried out through her Vaishnavi Corporate Communications Pvt Ltd.

(With additional information from PTI)