New Delhi: Former telecom minister A Raja today appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for questioning in the Rs22,000 crore second generation (2G) spectrum scam, over a year after the agency registered a case in this connection, reports PTI.
47-year-old Mr Raja appeared before the agency this morning after he was summoned by the CBI under Section 160 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Mr Raja, who had earlier expressed his inability to appear before the agency, is likely to be questioned at length on the circumstances leading to spectrum allocation which has been criticised severely by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
He was forced to resign last month in the wake of a controversy over his role in the spectrum allocation.
Mr Raja is likely to be questioned on the issue of advancing dates for allocation of spectrum and on the role of his relatives in some of the companies which allegedly acted as a front for certain telecom firms which got spectrum between September 2007 and January 2008.
Mr Raja got the telecom portfolio on 18 May 2007 and again got re-elected as a member of the 15th Lok Sabha and continued as telecom minister from 31 May 2009 till 14th November, this year when he tendered his resignation.
The former minister, who flew to Delhi on Wednesday night from Chennai, had told reporters that he would co-operate with the CBI in the probe.
The Supreme Court has asked the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to submit status reports on their investigations into the 2G case to it by 10th February, when the case will come up for further hearing.
The CAG in its report to Parliament had said that the allocation of 2G spectrum at undervalued prices had resulted in the loss of Rs1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.
The CBI in its FIR had mentioned the loss as Rs22,000 crore based on the findings of CVC which had referred the case to it.
Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia was earlier this week quizzed by the CBI at her South Delhi farmhouse. Ms Radia, who was questioned for four hours, came under the scanner after her taped telephonic conversations with various influential people including industrialists, politicians and journalists became public.
The CBI has also questioned former Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chief Pradip Baijal, a 1966 batch IAS officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, in connection with the case.
The premises of Mr Raja, MR Baijal and Ms Radia were searched by the CBI earlier this month.
The local market is likely to open on a cautious note on subdued cues from the global arena. Wall Street closed mostly lower overnight in the holiday-shortened week on low volumes and mixed economic data while markets in Asia were trading mostly lower in early trade today on lower metal prices that put pressure on mining companies. The SGX Nifty was down 7.50 points at 5,988.50 compared to its previous close of 5,995.
The market opened with meagre gains on Thursday, tracking its Asian peers that were mixed. The indices slipped into the red after touching the day's high and were range-bound. However, a sharp rise in the weekly food inflation data put pressure on the market, dragging the indices down. The post-noon session saw the key indices trading sideways on both sides of the neutral line. The market closed flat with a negative bias, down for the second day in a row.
The Sensex ended at 19,982.88, below its psychological level of 20,000 and down by 32.92 points (0.16%) over its previous close. The Nifty settled 4.40 points (0.07%) lower at 5,980.
The US markets closed mostly lower on Thursday on mixed economic data amid thin-volume trade in the holiday-shortened week. In economic data, consumer sentiment was up in December to its highest level since June and demand for long-lasting manufactured goods rose. Initial claims for jobless benefits edged down, but a rise in new home sales in November was below expectations. A rise in copper inventories on the London Metal Exchange renewed demand concerns from China, the world’s largest consumer of metals.
The Dow gained 14 points (0.12%) to 11,573.49. The S&P 500 shed down 2.07 points (0.16%) at 1,256.77. The Nasdaq lost 5.88 points (0.22) to 2,665.60.
US stock markets are closed on Friday for the Christmas Eve holiday.
Markets in Asia were mostly lower in early trade on Friday on speculations of China’s policy measures and a fall in metal prices. Chinese stocks were lower on worries that higher lending costs will raise borrowing costs while new rules might curb auto sales. Japan’s Nikkei was down on lower metal prices and the weakening dollar against the yen lowered the outlook for exporters.
The Shanghai Composite declined 0.43%, the Hang Seng fell 0.30%, the KLSE Composite was down 0.13%, the Nikkei 225 shrank by 0.71%, the Seoul Composite shed 0.08% and the Taiwan Weighted fell 0.30%. On the other hand, the Straits Times surged 0.22% in early trade. The SGX Nifty was down 7.50 points at 5,988.50 compared to its previous close of 5,995.
India has been ranked as the most preferred real estate destination in the Asia Pacific region as foreign investors still consider the country to be extremely viable, a report released on Thursday showed.
“India, and particularly Mumbai and New Delhi, are ranked the foremost real estate market destinations as the residential properties have maintain the growth momentum, and foreign investors still consider this market to be extremely viable,” the ULI-PwC report, ‘Emerging trends in Real Estate in Asia Pacific 2011’, said.
Going forward, the report forecast that India will continue to maintain a GDP growth momentum of 9%-10% per cent by 2015, as Asia’s third-largest economy will witness new private equity in capital markets which will inject capital in infrastructure projects.
Today we are opening up our database to all readers. You can access stock prices and corporate information of about 1,334 companies spread across 49 sectors and five capitalisation sizes, tracked by Moneylife, anytime you want to.
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Remember, Moneylife is the first publication that uses Mega Cap (companies with MCap of over Rs10,000 crore) and Micro Cap (companies with a MCap of less than Rs100 crore) to grade companies, besides the regular Large Cap, Mid Cap and Small Cap, according to their market capitalisation on that particular day.
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