New Delhi: A former senior telecom official today told a Delhi court that he had met CBI's special public prosecutor in the court premises two days before the scheduled start of his cross-examination in the 2G spectrum case but denied having been "tutored" to depose in a "particular way."
A K Srivastava, a former Deputy Director General (AS) of Department of Telecom (DoT), told Special CBI Judge O P Saini that he had visited Patiala House courts here on September 1 this year and had met special public prosecutor U U Lalit for about an hour and they had a general discussion about the 2G case.
During his cross examination by advocate Vijay Aggarwal, appearing for accused R K Chandolia, then private secretary of former Telecom Minister A Raja, Srivastava denied that he was "instructed" by Lalit to depose in a certain manner.
"Meeting with U U Lalit continued for about an hour in which there was a general discussion about this case. It is wrong to suggest that I was tutored to give evidence in a particular way. It is wrong to suggest that I was instructed in that meeting to volunteer information to undo the cross examination," he said.
Srivastava said that being the private secretary to the then minister, Chandolia used to give orders, "put pressure" on the officials and issued orders in the name of Raja.
When he was asked about a DoT note of September 24, 2007, he said it was initiated by him at the behest of Chandolia. He said that Chandolia's name was not mentioned in the note.
"It was not possible for me to think about the violation of the office procedure by not mentioning the name of R K Chandolia in the note as he was PS to the MOC&IT and used to give orders to us and put pressure on us," Srivastava said.
whose cross examination would continue tomorrow, said, "whatever may be the hierarchical level of the PS, he exercises the powers of the minister and issues orders in his name."
He said that whenever a meeting was to be held in the room of the minister, the information would invariably come from Chandolia on phone.
He denied the suggestions of the defence counsel that he is deposing falsely against Chandolia under the "pressure of the CBI" as the agency had earlier searched his house and had seized the documents pertaining to his house building advance, income tax papers, LIC papers and others.
"It is wrong to suggest that I am deposing falsely against Chandolia under pressure of CBI as I have entered a deal with it for return of my documents for deposing against him.
"It is further wrong to suggest that the deal included the non-initiation of DA case against me. It is wrong to suggest that I am a stock witness of CBI and it is using me in several cases," Srivastava said.
He had earlier told the court that Chandolia had asked him to stop receiving new applications for 2G spectrum licences once the Unitech Group firms submit them.
He had said that on September 24, 2007, Chandolia had told him that Unitech Group firm's applications will be submitted to the department on that day itself.
Raja, Chandolia and DMK MP Kanimozhi, along with others, are facing trial for various offences like cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and faking documents under the IPC and for the offences of abusing official position, getting bribe and criminal misconduct by public servant under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in jail to life imprisonment.