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2G scam: Raja asks to deal fresh CBI plea seperately

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

A Raja, former telecom minister

Jailed former Telecom Minister and 13 others today told a Delhi court to separately deal with CBI's fresh plea to invoke additional charge of criminal breach of trust against them to enable them to seek bail in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

"The fresh application of CBI of framing a charge of criminal breach of trust should be treated separately. There is no harm if the the issue of section 409 of IPC is dealt later on," Raja told Special CBI Judge OP Saini.

Raja along with his personal secretary RK Chandolia, former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura are in jail since their arrest on February 2, this year in the case. Rest of the 11 accused were arrested subsequently.

The accused cited constitutional provisions and a Supreme Court order in the case that the bail applications could be entertained only after the trial court frames charges.

They said the court, which was to pronounce its order on framing of charges on September 15, should now go ahead and decide the applicability of charges invoked earlier by the CBI.

The fresh plea of CBI to invoke section 409 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC, which provides for life term as maximum punishment, be dealt with separately so that their bail pleas could be moved as they are in jail for over six months.

The oral submissions by accused Shahid Usman Balwa that arguments on the fresh application would take another two months irked the special CBI judge.

"Till now, I was keeping my mouth shut. Do not compel me to open my mouth. Why it would take two months to advance arguments on this one charge?" the judge asked.

First Published: Thu, September 29 2011. 17:55 IST