Raja refuses to respond to CBI plea on fresh charge

New Delhi, September 30: Former Telecom Minister A. Raja on Friday told a Delhi court that he would not respond to the Central Bureau of Investigation’s fresh plea to invoke an additional charge of criminal breach of trust against all the accused till the agency stated that its probe in the 2G spectrum allocation scam was over.

Special CBI judge O.P. Saini, who was to receive replies of 17 accused including Mr. Raja on the plea of the CBI, was taken aback when senior advocate Sushil Kumar, appearing for the DMK leader, said he would not participate in hearings till the CBI clarified its position on the status of probe.

“I am taking a very clear stand that till the time the CBI files an affidavit or says it on oath here that investigation is complete or going on, I am not going to participate in the proceedings of this case,” Mr. Kumar said.

The lawyer of Mr. Raja, who is in judicial custody in Tihar jail, was agitated over the alleged “contradictory” stands taken by the CBI.

On one hand, the CBI told the Supreme Court that it was still probing the roles of various persons, including industrialist Anil Ambani, and on the other hand, it said to the trial judge that charges should be framed as the investigation was over, he said.

“I do not want any time. Give time to others. I am not filing any reply. I am not going to argue till the CBI DIG S.K. Palsania and its Superintendent of Police Vivek Priyadarshi are called here to clarify the position,” he said.

The judge reacted to Mr. Kumar’s statement, saying “Please do not make any comment on the Supreme Court here.”

Special Prosecutor U.U. Lalit tried to clarify the CBI’s stand and said he did not represent it in the Supreme Court.

“I am not there in the Supreme Court. I am appearing for the CBI in this case only in this court. I will stand by the statement made by the prosecutor that so far as the present charge sheet is concerned, probe is complete,” Mr. Lalit said.