New Delhi, Feb 14 : CBI has brought fresh charges of forgery and cheating against former Telecom Minister A Raja and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa who have been arrested in connection with 2G spectrum allocation scam case.
CBI counsel Akhilesh, seeking extension of the remand of Raja and Balwa, today told Special Judge O P Saini that "while investigation is in progress, things are coming to light and so sections 420 (cheating) and 468 (forgery) of IPC have been added" against both.
Earlier, charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act were levelled against Raja and Balwa was accused of conspiracy under the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act.The court remanded Raja and Balwa to CBI's custody till February 17 citing "the enormity" of the crime.
While Raja was remanded today to CBI custody for 3 more days for interrogation on his alleged role in 2G spectrum allocation scam Usman's custody was extended by four days.Judge Saini extended Raja's custody, ignoring his allegation that CBI was being driven by political motive instead of probing the case against him.
Opposing CBI's plea for extension of his client's custody, Raja's counsel Ramesh Gupta told the court "what is the purpose of police custody? (It's not clear) whether they (CBI) want it for unearthing the conspiracy or have political motive. CBI should not make it a political game and they should investigate only".
However, the judge said "the crime is enormous in nature and its investigation is time-consuming. Accordingly,considering the enormity of the crime, complex and complicated nature of the investigation, voluminous documents involved in the case, I find that the prayer for further custodial interrogation of the accused persons is justified.
The 47-year-old DMK leader, who has been facing an intense grilling by CBI sleuths for the last 11 days at the agency headquarters, opposed CBI's plea saying "no new facts have come on record during the previous police custody remand.""There is no justification for extension of police custody remand," contended Gupta.
Seeking extension of remand, senior public prosecutor Akhilesh, said both the accused were confronted with each other during the custodial interrogation but they were "evasive in their replies".
Balwa's lawyer Vijay Aggarwal told the court that "CBI has not put forward any specific evidence for seeking extension of police custody remand and has only made a general statement without any substance".
He said the investigating agency has, however, added two more sections of the Indian Penal Code relating to charges of cheating and forgery in the case against the accused. PTI