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CBI drops additional witness in 2G case

New Delhi:The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has dropped one of the five additional prosecution witnesses it wanted examined in court in the main case pertaining to 2G spectrum allocation. The agency dropped Enforcement Department Assistant Director Satyendra Singh as prosecution witness with the approval of the special CBI court. The Special CBI Judge allowed it as the probe agency submitted that it did not wish to examine Singh in the case. The move comes about two months after the special court allowed the CBI to call Singh and other, additional prosecution witnesses for examination in court despite the defence counsels' vehement opposition to the plea. The CBI had contended that questioning of the five additional witnesses, including Singh, were necessary to �arrive at the truth�. Rajeshwar Singh, another ED official, D Mani, a bank official from Chennai, Navil Kapur, secretary in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, and G Rajendran, general manager (finance) at Kalaignar TV Private Limited were others whom the CBI wanted to examine. �However, it is submitted by K K Goel, learned senior public prosecutor for the CBI, that prosecution does not wish to examine him (Satyendra Singh). In view of this submission, he is dropped from the list of additional witnesses to be examined by the prosecution,� held the Special CBI judge, allowing the probe agency�s plea on Monday. With Singh dropped, Rajeshwar is the last prosecution witness to be examined by court in the case in which former telecom minister A Raja, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam�s Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi and 17 others are named as accused. Rajeshwar is likely to testify in the case on February 18, a date fixed by court for recording of evidence. The court had initiated trial in the case on October 22, 2011, after framing charges against the accused under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act. After examination of both prosecution and defence witnesses concluded on September 10 last year, the court had fixed the date for final arguments. Before they could have taken place, the CBI approached the court seeking permission to call five more witnesses. Though the court allowed the CBI to bring these additional witnesses, the Special CBI Judge suggested that the probe agency should stop making such pleas. �Unnecessary delay in trial causes mental, physical and financial strain on the accused as well as the system. Even if the steps taken by the parties may be broadly characterised to be within the four corners of law, it is still a thing to be avoided. I hope the prosecution takes note of it and stops at this.� the court had then observed, allowing the CBI plea.

Updated : 11 Feb 2015 6:59 AM GMT
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