Radia takes 7-hour ED test - Lobbyist leaves smiling after telecom quiz

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  • Published 25.11.10

New Delhi, Nov. 24: Corporate communications consultant and lobbyist Niira Radia today came out smiling after the Enforcement Directorate quizzed her for seven hours in the 2G spectrum row and made her write out a 20-page statement.

“It’s like writing an exam,” an ED official quoted her as saying.

Wearing a sari with a shawl draped around her, Radia emerged from the directorate office after the marathon session around 5pm. “I want to make a statement. I am very much here (in India) and am available for full co-operation with the authorities,” she said.

“Unfortunately, there has been a lot of talk that I am not here. The matter is pending before the Supreme Court. I would not say anything else beyond this.”

The tapes of her purported conversations with industrialists, journalists, politicians and influential people are with the directorate that is probing the spectrum scam.

Asked what she was quizzed about, she briefly paused. “I want to add that we are fully transparent. Whatever information is required from us would be provided. The matter is sub judice... at the appropriate time I would talk to all of you,” she said before getting into her car waiting outside the ED office.

According to a directorate official, Radia was questioned on 2G spectrum allocations to telecom players. “She was also quizzed on financial matters of her company and her relation with some telecom companies and transactions with them. We also asked about her interaction with A. Raja.”

An official said she had handed over documents relating to her bank account and IT returns, along with 1,000 pages of other documents. “The documents included papers relating to her company’s transactions with some telecom companies. We need to examine all the papers.”

Prabhakant, ED deputy director, said: “We have recorded the statement. She has promised to submit certain papers…. We would be calling her as and when required.”

A statement attributed to the “spokesperson for Vaishnavi Corporate Communications and Niira Radia” said: “We have been asked for some information by the Enforcement Directorate. We are complying and co-operating fully with the ED. I would also want to add that we are fully transparent. All information required from us on an ongoing basis will be provided to the concerned agency....

“Our only client in (the) telecom sector is Tata Teleservices that has been discriminated against over the years and therefore suffering huge losses. The new CAG report also clearly states that Tata Teleservices has been unfairly discriminated against in the allotment of spectrum. The matter is sub judice….”