2G case: Shahid Balwa wants to depose as witness

New Delhi : Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, one of the accused facing trial in the 2G spectrum allocation case, Tuesday told the court that he wanted to depose as a witness in the case to defend himself.

Balwa’s counsel Vijay Aggarwal told the special CBI court hearing the case that his client wanted to depose as a witness in the case in which recording statements of defence witnesses will commence July 1.

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Central Bureau of Investigation counsel K.K. Goel did not object, saying to depose as witness to defend himself is Balwa’s right.

Balwa’s counsel told the court that he wanted to bring six witnesses in his defence and he would be one of them.

“Defence is my right. They (CBI) have produced 153 witnesses and I am only seeking to summon five to six witnesses in my defence,” said Aggarwal on behalf of his client.

Aggarwal added that co-accused, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal, directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd, were seeking permission to examine a total of five witnesses only in their defence in the case.

Regarding former telecom minister A. Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R.K. Chandolia, also an accused in the case, Aggarwal told the court that he was only summoning some documents in his client’s defence.

Special CBI Judge O.P. Saini reserved the order for Wednesday on the issue of calling defence witnesses and documents as sought by these accused.

The court had earlier allowed Raja’s plea seeking to depose as a witness to defend himself in the trial.

The court had on Oct 22, 2011 framed charges against 14 accused and three companies under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, faking documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.

All the accused are out on bail.