Judge gags 2G scam talk outside courtroom

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 19 2013, 01:47am hrs
A RajaCBI has appointed K K Goyal as the new prosecutor in 2G scam case. (Reuters)
Trial in the 2G spectrum scam case, involving former Telecom Minister A Raja and 16 others, today resumed in a Delhi court after nearly a month with the special judge asking everyone not to discuss the matter outside the courtroom.

The word of caution from the judge assumes significance after surfacing of a controversial audio tape purportedly containing voices of sacked CBI prosecutor A K Singh and Managing Director of Unitech Ltd Sanjay Chandra, an accused in the case.

"Do not talk (about the case) after going outside. Please talk in the courtroom itself," Special CBI Judge O P Saini said, adding, they can discuss the case in the court.

To this, one of the defence counsel, Hariharan, told the judge that they will talk about the case among themselves but not to the prosecutor.

During trial, which resumed after a month as the judge was hearing the case against the promoters of Essar Group and Loop Telecom, the court recorded the statement of prosecution witness Amit Sarin, Director and CEO of Anantraj Industries Ltd.

At the time of recording of the statement, the special judge was irked with Sarin saying he was not giving answers properly and warned him that he may write against him in the order.

"I will pass a stricture against you (Sarin). You have not been listening to me. I have been trying to save you but you are not giving straight answers. Now I will write against you in the order," the judge said.

The CBI had on February 11 removed A K Singh as the prosecutor in the case after he was allegedly caught in a taped conversation purportedly discussing prosecution strategy with Chandra.

The suspected voice in the tape, said to have been recorded in September last year, is also heard detailing a three-judge Supreme Court judgement which could be used as a reference in the legal strategy.

The CBI has appointed K K Goyal as the new prosecutor in the case.

Unitech had rejected the allegations saying Chandra had never met the prosecutor in the 2G case outside the court or had any telephonic conversation with him.

The company has also denied that the voice on the tape was that of Chandra and said it appeared to be a fabricated recording sent anonymously to the CBI.

Besides Raja and Chandra, others facing trial in the case include DMK MP Kanimozhi, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja's former private secretary R K Chandolia, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka.

Top Reliance ADAG executives Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd's directors Asif Balwa and Rajeev Aggarwal, Bollywood filmmaker Karim Morani and DMK-run Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar are also facing trial in the case.

Besides these 14 accused, three telecom firms - Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, Reliance Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd - are also accused in the case.