CBI today commenced its probe into four issues in connection with the tapped conversations of lobbyist Niira Radia with various high-profile individuals as part of its separate preliminary enquiries(PE) in 14 related cases.
CBI sources said today that four PEs covering these issues have so far been registered on the instructions of the Supreme Court while the process of initiating the remaining 10 inquiries is underway. The sources said the agency has registered a PE into Radia's conversation with Pradip Baijal, ex-chief of TRAI, allegedly pertaining to his appointment as Chairman of Pipeline Advisory Committee to allegedly favour Reliance Industries.
The agency has named Baijal and Radia in the enquiry, they said. It has also started a PE into Radia's conversations pertaining to alleged discrepancy in subscriber data base declared by Reliance Communications to BSE and TRAI, the sources said, adding that the company has been named in the enquiry. "We welcome the independent time-bound enquiries by the CBI, monitored by the Supreme Court, which will clearly establish our bona fide, and once and for all prove beyond doubt that we have been the unfortunate victims of a mischievous campaign of calumny and vilification conducted at the behest of our unscrupulous corporate rivals over the past five years," Anil Ambani-led Reliance Group had said in a statement.
The sources said a PE against Radia, unknown officials of her company Vaishnavi and unknown officials of BHEL has also been registered in connection with the alleged payment of commission for clearing bills from the public sector undertaking. A spokesman of Radia declined to comment.
The agency has also started an enquiry against Vishal Mehta, the then CEO of Vaishnavi, unknown officials of DoT and unknown officials of Unitech in connection with grant of spectrum to Unitech.
A bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi had identified 23 issues which were framed by a apex court-appointed probe team on the analysis of the tapped conversations of Radia with bureaucrats, politicians, corporate tycoons and scribes. It then ordered a CBI probe into 14 issues last week.