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Court Allows I-T Dept To Quiz Raja, 5 Others

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A Delhi court on Thursday allowed the Income Tax department to interrogate six accused, including former telecom minister A. Raja, arrested for their alleged involvement in the 2G scam, in judicial custody itself.

Special CBI Judge O. P. Saini allowed the application moved by the Income Tax department seeking permission to quiz Raja, Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and three Reliance ADAG top officials-- Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara.

Income Tax (IT) department moved three separate applications seeking interrogation of Raja in connection with his family income, senior Standing Counsel for the IT department Sanjeev Rajpal said.

Balwa will be quizzed by the Income Tax team from Mumbai regarding his connection with Etisalat DB.

Meanwhile, the third application was moved on behalf of the Additional Commissioner of Income Tax, Mumbai to quiz Balwa, Goenka and three ADAG officials.

"Our applications have been allowed by the court and these six persons will be interrogated from 27 July to 29 July," Rajpal said.

The CBI, meanwhile, started the arguments on framing of charges against various accused in the 2G scam.

The court had on 18 July also allowed the CBI to interrogate afresh Raja, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura and Gautam Doshi in the lock up of Patiala House court complex for one hour each.

The court had allowed the agency's application that in the interest of the case, it required to interrogate key accused afresh for the ongoing probe.

The CBI, in its first charge sheet on 2 April, had accused Raja, and eight other persons including Balwa, Goenka, Doshi, Nair and Pipara as well as three companies of causing a loss of Rs30,984 crore to the exchequer.

Charges of cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and corruption have been levelled against the six, who are currently lodged in Tihar Jail along with other eight accused in the case including DMK MP Kanimozhi.