Achary a false witness created by CBI: Raja's counsel (Lead)

Fri, Dec 23 2011 19:21 IST | 101 Views
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New Delhi, Dec 23

Former communications minister A. Raja's counsel Friday termed his ex-aide Aseevatham Achary untruthful, saying that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had created him as a false witness to influence the course of the trial in the 2G case.

"He is a created false witness and this is my ultimate case,” Raja's counsel and senior advocate Sushil Kumar told special CBI Judge O.P. Saini.

He asked Achary if he had received any threat before he was discovered by the CBI as witness in March 2011.

Testifying as a CBI witness, Achary replied: "I had a perception of threat, but no specific incident warranting any action had occurred before."

He said he reported the incident (of the threat) to the CBI.

Kumar argued that Achary's statement Thursday was planted to influence bail of Raja's ex-private secretary R.K. Chandolia. Chandolia's bail plea is scheduled for hearing in the Supreme Court Jan 2.

"Achary was repeatedly saying that the man (accused for threatening Achary) was sitting with Chandolia," the lawyer said, adding that this could influence Chandolia's bail plea pending in the Supreme Court.

To this, Judge Saini said had Achary made the disclosure earlier, many of the accused in the case would not have been granted bail.

However, Achary denied the allegation and said he was not aware of Chandolia's bail. He stressed that it was incorrect to say Thursday's statement was planned by him in collusion with the investigating agency.

"It is incorrect to say that yesterday's disclosure by me about that person was pre-planned,” Achary said.

Drama ensued in the court Thursday when Achary told the court that a threat to his life was given and the person who had threatened him was sitting in the room.

When Achary said this, a man ran out of the court but was immediately overpowered by the police.

During his cross-examination, Achary said he knew of Janata Party president Subramaniam Swamy though he did not know him personally.

He said he had visited Swamy's house off and on, but did not know about the book he had written on the scam.

"I am not acquainted with the book titled as '2G spectrum scam' written by Swamy. I do not know the name written in the book as 'Ashirvatham Achary' refers to me," Achary said.

Speaking about his responsibilities as Raja's aide, Achary said if anybody wanted to meet Raja, then he would bring it to the notice of the minister and fix an appointments.

He also used to oversee the three charts -- daily engagements, tour programme, monthly programme -- prepared at the camp office of the minister.

According to the government auditor, the 2G scam allegedly masterminded by Raja pertained to a biased distribution of mobile airwaves and operating licences, in lieu of kickbacks, to telecom firms that could have cost the treasury up to Rs.1.76 lakh crore in lost revenue.

The number of individuals accused in the case now stands at 19, while the companies against which charges have been framed add up to six.

Except for Raja and former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura, all other arrested accused have been freed on bail.

 
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