Raja does not recall meetings with Unitech, Swan honchos

New Delhi : Former telecom minister A. Raja Monday denied that DMK MP Kanimozhi’s visits to him were in connection with the affairs of Kalaignar TV (KTV) and said that he is unable to recollect his meeting with Unitech’s managing director and Swan telecom promoters.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), while-cross examining Raja, Monday asked him if he he had met Kanimozhi, Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra and Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, who are booked as accused in the case in the 2G allocation case.

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Raja, who is also booked as an accused in the case, told Special CBI Judge O.P. Saini that Kanimozhi has come to his residence once or twice with other party members but denied that these visits were in connection with the affairs of the TV channel.

According to the CBI charge sheet, an illegal gratification of Rs.200 crore was paid by promoters of Swan Telecom using their group entity Dynamix Realty, to KTV, through various channels in the garb of legitimate financial transaction.

CBI special public prosecutor U.U. Lalit quizzed Raja if putting KTV on bouquet of TataSky used to be one of the concerns of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and if there used to be multiple telephonic conversations between him, Radia and Kanimozhi regarding this.

Raja replied: “I am not able to recollect if I had any telephonic conversation with her (Radia) from my side. However, I am unable to recollect exactly if she ever called me.”

He added such type of conversation did not place with Kanimozhi too.

Raja also told the court that KTV is not being run by the DMK.

He also told the court that he is not able to recollect that specifically if Chandra met him at his residence. “Had it been so, it should have been reflected in the chart and the entries maintained by the security forces.”

He maintained the same answer over question on his meeting with Goenka and Balwa.

According to CBI, Chandra and Balwa were frequent visitors to the Raja office during his tenure as minister of environment and forest and it helped them while getting a telecom licence.

According to the government auditor, Raja was biased while distributing 2G mobile airwaves and operating licences to telecom firms, causing a loss of up to Rs.1.76 lakh crore in revenue to the treasury. All the accused, including Raja, are out on bail.