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Thursday 22 December 2011

2G: A Raja cross examines former aide Aseevatham Achary

NEW DELHI: Former communications minister A Raja on Thursday cross-examined his former aide in a special CBI court here during the hearing of the 2G case on a day when a man was arrested for allegedly issuing life threat to the minister's ex-assistant.

Raja's counsel and senior advocate Sushil Kumar asked his former assistant private secretary Aseevatham Achary about a Tata Motor agency in Tiruchirapalli distirct. Achary replied: "It is incorrect to suggest that I have a benami Tata Motor Agency."

He said he was not aware of any Tata motor agency in Tiruchirapalli.

Testifying as a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) witness before Special Judge O.P. Saini, Achary said that the conversation between him and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia was broken into three parts.

First part related to the problem of Kalaignar TV and the second to his entering politics, he added.

"The third part pertained to a Tata Motor agency and the factum of my being subject of discussion in relation thereto and Radia warning me about this, but I deny that this was about my owning a benami Tata Motor agency," Achary said.

The witness added that he expressed to Raja his desire to join politics in July 2008. Raja advised him that politics was not a easy field, so from then on he decided not to join politics.

A man sitting in the court was earlier taken into custody when Achary accused him of threatening him.

Achary told the court that he had been given a life threat and the person who had threatened him was sitting in the room.

He told the court Wednesday that Radia wanted him to convey a message to Raja, a DMK leader, about Kalaignar TV.

He had said that Raja told him that Kalaignar TV was a propaganda organ of the DMK party.

He denied that he used Raja's name for seeking employment for his wife.

Achary told the court that it was Raja's trust in him due to which he was selected for this sensitive post of stenographer. "I was the private secretary to Raja since 1999," he said.

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, no accused is behind bars

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