Trial in 2G Scam to Begin Friday

New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS): The trial in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation case is set to begin in a special court Friday after formal charges were framed against all the 17 accused, including former telecom minister A. Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and three corporate entities.

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge O.P. Saini had Oct 22 ordered the trial to commence Nov 11 with all the accused declining to plead guilty to various offences.

All the 14 individuals accused in the case are in judicial custody.

While framing charges, the judge observed that there was prima facie evidence against Raja, his former private secretary R.K. Chandolia and former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura.

The judge said evidence was also there against Reliance Telecom, Swan Telecom and Unitech (Tamil Nadu) Wireless. He said CBI had also given evidence to frame charges against three corporate executives of Reliance Group.

Others against whom charges have been framed are Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, his cousin Asif Balwa, their colleague Rajeev Agarwal, Unitech Ltd's Sanjay Chandra and DB Realty's Vinod Goenka.

The judge said there was also a prima facie evidence for framing charges against Kalaignar TV chief Sharad Kumar and Cineyug founder Karim Morani.

The CBI, in its first chargesheet filed on April 2, had charged Raja and others with criminal conspiracy and causing a huge loss to the exchequer by allocating spectrum to ineligible operators.


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