The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday submitted 50 more intercepted call records of former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia in a special court here, in addition to 12 transcripts filed earlier in connection with the 2G spectrum scam.
Radia, who had sought three months’ time for appearing before the court on the grounds that she had undergone a surgery, was present on Tuesday as a key prosecution witness.
Deposing before the court, she said Swan Telecom was not eligible to get a licence. She added, however, she did not have any personal knowledge or authentic information, but according to dossiers in circulation, Swan was controlled entirely by Anil Ambani’s Reliance Telecom.
“During the time of the grant of licence and spectrum, there was a very strong public perception, created by the media, of eligibility and non-eligibility. Through the public perception and advice of Tata’s advocates, I came to know that this company was not eligible,” Radia said.
“Tatas were ahead of everyone else in the queue by virtue of their dual technology licence.” However, the company was advised by the Department of Telecommunications that it was not ahead of others, she added.
CBI had intercepted 5,800 calls of Radia, which the agency is re-analysing. The defence lawyers will now respond to the latest submission on July 2. CBI told O P Saini, the special CBI judge, the said call records were being placed on record in “the interest of justice.”
The call records show conversations that Radia had with former chairman of the Tata group Ratan Tata, former telecom minister A Raja’s personal secretary R K Chandolia, various journalists and communications heads of companies, including Tata Telecom and Unitech. The defence lawyers opposed the filing of new transcripts at this stage of trial and sought time from the court to go through the same.
In one of the conversations, Chandolia is seeking Radia’s help in the posting of a certain individual in Tata Consultancy Services London referred by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader Arcot Veeraswamy. According to transcripts, Chandolia told Radia: “I told him Sir (Veeraswamy), it will take about a week…he said you speak to her (Radia) again and it should be done by Monday.”
Radia also recounted her journey from the UK to India and how she became a consultant to Sahara when the company started the aviation business. Later in 2001, she set up her public relations firm in 2001 called Vaishnavi, with Tatas as her first clients. Her company got clients like Unitech in 2005. Radias mandate in Tata Group was extended to a strategic advisory role.