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2G scam: Niira Radia appears before PAC

April 4, 2011 - New Delhi

Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia appeared before the Parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Monday in connection with the alleged irregularities in the allocation of 2G spectrum.

Radia, whose tapped phone conversations with politicians, corporates, bureaucrats, and journalists, form a key part of the investigations into the 2G Spectrum Scam, appeared before the PAC at the Parliament House complex here.

The panel, headed by senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Murli Manohar Joshi, is quizzing Radia on the taped conversations.

Radia, who runs a public relations agency to promote the interests of several corporate houses with interest in telecom, lobbied to ensure that DMK leader and A Raja gets the Telecom portfolio. Raja is now in jail in connection with the scam.

Industrialist Ratan Tata is also expected to appear before PAC today in connection with the 2G Spectrum Scam.

The PAC is expected to record the evidence of Ratan Tata on the recent developments in the telecom sector, including allocation of 2G and 3G spectrum.

A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), chaired by Congress leader P C Chacko, has also been set up to look into all the details of the 2G allocation in 2008 and in the telecom sector from 1998 onwards.

Representatives of four telecom firms RCom, Swan Telecom and Unitech, have been called on April 5.

Swan Telecom (now DB Etisalat) chief Shahid Usman Balwa is already in custody in connection with the scam.

The others arrested in connection with the case are A Raja, his personal secretary RK Chandolia and former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behuria.

Raja was forced to resign from the Union Cabinet last year after the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs.1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue.


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