If I committed crime, so did Tatas and Radia, says Chandolia (Lead)

July 29th, 2011 - 8:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) Targeting the Tatas and lobbyist Niira Radia, former communications minister Andimuthu Raja’s ex-personal secretary R.K. Chandolia Friday said if he could be accused in the 2G spectrum scam, so should they.

Chandolia began his arguments opposing charges against him, saying that he was a government official who was following the order of his superiors.

“The deal took place between Radia and the Tatas, they are not in jail, and my client who is not involved is in the dock,” Chandolia’s counsel Vijay Aggarwal told CBI Special Judge O.P. Saini.

“If a crime is done by my client, then Tata and Radia are also on equal footing,” he stressed.

Counsel argued that Chandolia only followed Raja’s orders. “It was Raja who took Niira Radia’s help. My client just followed the orders.”

“Radia called the office that time, my client picked up the phone and she wanted to speak to Raja. As he was not there, she asked him to tell Raja that the KTV problem has been sorted out,” said Aggarwal.

“My client only conveyed what happened, how can he be a conspirator?” he asked, adding that there were no recorded conversations of Chandolia.

Counsel also targeted Aseervatham Achary, an alleged associate of Raja and a prosecution witness, who was said to have conspired to bring Kalaignar TV on Tata Sky DTH bouquet by acting as a conduit between Raja and Radia.

“In the conversation tapes when Niira Radia referred to the deal, nowhere does Achary ask her what was she talking (about). This clears that he was aware of the deal between Kalaignar TV and Tata being pursued by Raja,” Aggarwal said, questioning the court why Tata, Radia and Achary are not made accused.

He added that it was Achary who has been associated with Raja for the past 12 years.

“Achary helped in cracking the deal between Radia and Tata…then why he is not in jail?” Aggarwal asked.

Counsel also questioned the CBI’s role. “We all know that CBI is the most clean agency, but it does not have guts to touch the Tatas and Radia.”

He added: “They roped my client because after almost a year of investigation, the CBI bargained with other officials saying that either you become a witness and depose against Chandolia or be an accused.”

Aggarwal asked the court how can Chandolia be accused of conspiring with Raja in connection with two letters.

“Writing an incriminating letter, dictated by Raja, is my offence?” he questioned.

He added that both the information officers (IO) have two different submissions on Chandolia’s presence - one saying Chadolia was present, and the other denying it - when the letter was typed, thus their testimonies were contradictory.

He also asked the court as to why the court and the prosecution endorses everything that CBI does.

Denying the CBI’s allegations that Chandolia had threatened R.P. Aggarwal, the wireless planning and coordination wing chief, to ensure spectrum is granted to Swan Telecom, counsel said: “These are baseless allegations. Aggarwal was senior to Chandolia…how can he direct him?”

“R.P. Aggarwal had all the powers to allocate the licenses. He was involved in the conspiracy, not Chandolia. He should be in jail.”

Counsel further told the court that his client was a personal assistant to Raja and had no major role to play.

In addition, counsel submitted that Chandolia is not a person associated with the DMK, Kalaignar TV or any other telecom company.

“He is a small poor man who doesn’t even had the signing authority,” he added, challenging the CBI to show a single document in the charge sheet with Chandolia’s signature.

Chandolia’s arguments began Friday, opposing framing of charges against him.

Before counsel began his arguments, the court dismissed Chandolia’s plea that sought interim bail on the ground that the CBI lacks proper sanction to prosecute him.

Chandolia is lodged in the Tihar Jail along with Raja.

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