It has been a case which has involved some of the biggest names in politics, corporate India and the bureaucracy. For the last three years, the 2G case has become synonymous with a corrupt system and has had many twists and turns.
Now, CNN-IBN reveals another dramatic twist, one which could throw the case into another spin. For, it reveals possible collusion between the prosecution and the accused in the case, which is being monitored by the Supreme Court.
The CNN-IBN investigation into the 2G case reveals that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) suspects its own prosecutor of aiding the accused. The CBI has registered a Preliminary Enquiry report, which names the lead 2G prosecutor AK Singh. The CBI Preliminary Enquiry Report also names Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra.
The CBI says the agency possess audio recordings with the suspected voices of Singh and Chandra. According to the CBI the prosecutor shared the legal strategy with the accused, Sanjay Chandra. Now, the CBI says that lead 2G prosecutor AK Singh has been removed from the case.
CNN-IBN has accessed the audio recordings which led to the Preliminary Enquiry naming Chandra and the 2G prosecutor. The CBI Director says he has informed the Chief Justice of India (Supreme Court), the Central Vigilance Commissioner and the Law Ministry on the revelations.
In terms of scale and profile the 2G case is as big as it can get. It is monitored by the Supreme Court and the then telecom minister A Raja spent 15 months in jail while DMK MP Kanimozhi was denied bail for seven months. Former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behuria and top corporate leaders, including Sanjay Chandra of Unitech, were even denied bail for months.
In the 2G case the main accused A Raja, Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra and 12 others including Kanimozhi have been examined by the prosecution. Cross-examination of the accused and witnesses is now on. A verdict is expected by the end of the year.
Now comes the shocking development that, if proven, could change the course of the 2G case. CNN-IBN has accessed a Preliminary Enquiry registered by the CBI which states AK Singh who represented CBI in the 2G case has allegedly colluded with the accused Sanjay Chandra, MD OF Unitech. The CBI Preliminary Enquiry says AK Singh shared the strategy of the CBI prosecution and even advised the accused Sanjay Chandra how to defend himself in the case.
The CBI has now confirmed to CNN-IBN that AK Singh has been removed as the agency's prosecutor in the sensitive case.
Sources have told CNN-IBN the CBI has in its possession an audio recording which contains a conversation which the agency believes has taken place between its prosecutor AK Singh and Sanjay Chandra and a third person. CNN-IBN has accessed the recording where three people are being heard discussing the legal strategy and the way forward.
In an exclusive interview to CNN-IBN CBI Director Ranjit Sinha confirmed the agency was using the recording as a basis for the Preliminary Enquiry and further probe, and to conclusively establish the voices belong to Unitech's Sanjay Chandra and CBI prosecutor AK Singh.
Sources say going by the conversation being probed by the CBI, it appears the prosecutor was helping the accused in one of the most hight profile cases. The CBI has also named Sanjay Chandra in the preliminary enquiry filed on February 6.
CBI Director Ranjit Sinha told CNN-IBN they have taken this very seriously and has informed the Supreme Court, Central Vigilance Commissioner, Law Ministry and the Department of Personal and Training.
Sources confirmed the audio recording with the CBI was at least 17 minutes in duration.
The Preliminary Enquiry says prima facie the information reveals gross misconduct on the part of CBI prosecutor AK Singh and accused Sanjay Chandra.
Sanjay Chandra along with former telecom minister A Raja and 12 others have been charged with conspiracy, forgery and cheating in the 2G case. Raja is accused of tinkering with procedure and policy to help Unitech and other companies to get the 2G licences. They are also charged with benefiting Unitech to make windfall gains by selling stakes at a premium to Telenor. The trial is currently in the court of OP Saini in Delhi's Patiala House.
The Preliminary Enquiry now raises massive questions over the nexus between the prosecutor and the accused and also raises fresh doubts on what else could have been shared and who else could have been been involved since the CBI began its probe and prosecution of the accused.
Below are the transcripts and audio clips. CNN-IBN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the conversation on the audio tape.
In the taped conversation in possession of CNN-IBN a voice which the CBI suspects is that of its 2G chief prosecutor AK Singh is heard advising how to muddle up the proceedings. The CBI also believes the second voice in the audio is that of Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra.
CBI Prosecutor: Ab baat khul gayee hai to mein bata hi deta hoon..saaf saaf kanoon mein agar ye 25/9/2007 ka faisla galat hai...to pehli baar ismein file par lane waale aap hi ho, aap ye karte hai Raja ne kaha tha agreed Raja to ho gaya a better aur actual criminal aap hi hai...kyonki file pe aap...
Sanjay Chandra: Phir to 319 bhi kra ja sakta hai...ya fayda nahi hai?
CBI Prosecutor: Nahi nahi wo fayda nahi.. apne ko bachaane ki koshish kara, bachne ke raste to ek hi hai...
Sanjay Chandra: 319 ka koi fayda nahi hai...
CBI Prosecutor: Dekho apke liye ye sara drama kiya maine. Pehle 2 me dalwaaya, 8 mein mana karwaya phir direct 12-11 paar kiya phir maine 3 kehelwa diya...
Sanjay Chandra: Usmein to kaafi...
CBI Prosecutor: Ab Srivastava pharpharane lag gaya ki ye galat hai... maine chupake rakha tha
Sanjay Chandra: Ab kaise karenge usko?
CBI Prosecutor: Haan sabse pehli baat...
Sanjay Chandra: Use comfort denge pehle to...
CBI Prosecutor: Haan haan...Yahi main kehna ja raha tha. Us ka comfort...dijiye usko ease dijiye uski tareef kijiye aur tab usko pakad lijiye. Agar pehle se hi hamla bol denge to wo pehle hi se jawaab nahi dega
The CBI suspects the recording then further suggests how their chief prosecutor AK Singh was detailing what he has been telling senior probe officers of the agency.
Sanjay Chandra: Maine aapka wo check list dekha tha... usmein memorandum wala issue aya hi nahi...
CBI Prosecutor: Haan wo kahin examine nahi hua. Humare bhi DIG ka phone aaya tha ki ye sawaal pooch...ek dikha ke.. ROC report...Humne kaha sir kyon apne pair pe kulhaari mar rahe hai? Samajh meri baat ji,..humne kaha apne pair pe kulhaadi mat marwaiye...ye gawaah to wohi bayaan degi jo file mein likha hai
Sanjay Chandra: Jo usne file mein likha hai?
CBI Prosecutor: Haan... ye sawaal hum B B Singh se pooch sakte hai lekin Srivastava ko nahi. Accha accha..haan haan... tab theek hai. Tab tak ye aapka kaam kar dega
Perhaps the most detailed portion of the recording is the one where the CBI further suspects prosecutor AK Singh is suggesting how a key prosecution witness will depose in the court, is even detailing a three judge Supreme Court judgement which could be used as a reference in the legal strategy. The CBI also suspects the second voice is that of Unitech's Sanjay Chandra who is replying to Singh, saying a Company Law Board official would be brought in to support this stand of another witness.
Sanjay Chandra: Kamboj ka kya karein?
CBI Prosecutor: Kamboj kaun hai?
Sanjay Chandra: Jisne ye report banaai hai ROC waali
CBI Prosecutor: Nahi nahi..uski baat maani nahi jaayegi...na sawaal yeh hai ki DOT ki understanding kya hai? To DOT ki understanding Srivastav ka... usko report dikha do...wo utilise kar dega...
Sanjay Chandra: Woh case hai hi nahi ki humne bola tha ki eligible hai...
CBI Prosecutor: Haan...Srivastava ye bolega na ki sir humaare liye share holders ka approval application ke pehle hona zaroori hai...aur wo....isliye Prima Facie company hai...Kamboj is a third person..hai uski finding DOT par laagoo nahi hogi.
Iss par Supreme Court ke 3 judges ka judgement hai ki jo guidelines Dept banata hai, unhe 10 tareeke se interpret ho sakta hai. Jo DOT ki understanding hai, jo uska gawaah bol raha hai wohi aage chalkar use hoga. Ye bada typical issue aaya hai UP mein jis mein yeh judgement aayi thee - Agar ek family mein father in law ke paas petrol pump hai to bahu ko pump nahi milega. Lekin reverse nahi tha yaani agar bahu ke naam hai to father in law ko nahi milega. To same situation aayi aur Indian oil ne pump allot kar diya. Counter party ne appeal kari Allahabad Court mein aur High Court ne order reverse kar diya. Supreme Court ne High Court ki finding ko galat kar di. Wohi judgement mein aapko doonga to maloom chal jaayega. Judgement mere demaag mein hai aur iss se aapko maximum faayda hoga. Aapke favour ki baat dept ki guideline mein hai.
Sanjay Chandra: In the eyes of the dept we are fine?
CBI Prosecutor: Aur baaki jo gawaah rahe hai unka koi matlab nahi rahega. They are washable judgements.
Sanjay Chandra: Defence gawaah bhi le aayege. Company Law Board ka ek Chairman le aayenge. Voh bol dega. Wo bhi defence mein gawahi dega.
CBI Prosecutor: Srivastav sahib hai to eligibility bhi department dega. Pehle to nahi ki aap use 12/11 mein gher lein. Pehle apna eligibility karwa ke 12/11 par aana.
Sanjay Chandra: Ye apka ye poora hafta lage ga ya?
CBI Prosecutor: Next week tak ja sakta hai. Sabse pehle aapko Srivastav se apna criteria eligibility guideline, sabse pehle aapko Memorandum of Understanding par chupchaap kaam karke nikal jaana hai. Phir 25/09/2007 waale par aayenge. Phir waha bhi bol dega ki press release ki wajah se itni zyaada application aa gayee. Phir 12/11 par aayiye, 3rd issue par. Yahan par thoda kaam karna hai. Agar pehle 12/11 par aa gaye to aapke dono matter khatm ho jaayenge. Ye criteria rakhiyega. To aapka cross examination nikal jaayega aaram se.
The conversation then moves to Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa, another co-accused in this case. The CBI suspects prosecutor AK Singh is saying it is Balwa who has damaged everyone's interests in the trial and then goes on to detail how Balwa is being advised incorrectly by his legal team and other associates.
Sanjay Chandra: Voh 1800 page banakar batha hai. Voh pata nahi kis case ko katega. Voh char hai na...Balwa ho gaya, Chandolia ho gaya...
CBI Prosecutor: Balwa hi trial kharab kar raha hai. Bhagwan akal de. Voh apne liye bhi phaansi ka phanda tayyar kar raha hai, aur sab ko bhi matiyamet kar raha hai. Hazaar baar usko samjha chuka hoon.
In another damning portion of the audio the CBI suspects their chief 2G prosecutor AK Singh is offering to examine the defence witness at whichever date recommended by the defence. The CBI also believes the second voice is of Unitech's Sanjay Chandra, who is suggesting the name of one Gaurav Jain, his company's senior legal manager, as this witness they are discussing.
Sanjay Chandra: Achcha, hamare witnesses ko kab examine karoge?
CBI Prosecutor: Jab aap bol do tab...
Sanjay Chandra: Theek hai. Gaurav Jain, Senior Manager, Legal, Unitech hai, usko jitna end mein lekar aayen, better hai. ROC ka help kar dega...To apna jo main hai, voh Gaurav Jain hai
CBI Prosecutor: To ye sequence aap yaad rakhiyega. Galati se yadi pehle sequence mein pehle mil gayi to kaam kharab ho jaayega
The conversation then moves to an interesting topic. The CBI suspects their chief 2G prosecutor is asking Chandra what is the worth of a government lawyer like him in the market. The CBI suspects the reply is given by Chandra, who is telling Singh if he works for a corporate sector he will get a salary of Rs 3 to 4 lakh and that daily appearance rates of lawyers have doubled post the 2G scam.
CBI Prosecutor: Hum logon ki bazaar mein kya keemat hogi?
Sanjay Chandra: Dekho, corporate mein naukri karoge to 3-4 lakhs, but agar daily appearance ke hisaab se karo, to before 2G rate alag hote the, after 2G rate double ho gaye!
CBI Prosecutor: Laughs...
The conversation then moves on to another case. The CBI suspects the voice of their prosecutor AK Singh, telling Chandra his issue was being discussed along with the Vodafone issue. CBI suspects Chandra is asking Singh about details of the chargesheet in the Vodafone case, and whether he is handling that too, including suggesting to Singh it be filed as soon as possible to reduce pressure on them.
CBI Prosecutor: Abhi aajkal vahi issue discuss ho raha hai Vodafone ko lekar. Kya kya opinion aa gayi hai aur ab phir file mere paas aa gayi hai...
Sanjay Chandra: Vodafone mein aap bhi ho? Uski chargesheet honi kab hai?
CBI Prosecutor: Abhi ruki padi hai. Kahan chargesheet hogi, humne kaha chupchaap behto.
Sanjay Chandra: Jitna jaldi ho, achcha ho. Hum logon par load kam hoga..
Sanjay Chandra is currently unavailable owing to bereavement in his family. However, he wishes to make it absolutely clear that he has never met the Prosecutor in the 2G case outside of Court or had any phone conversation with him. He denies the suggestion that his voice is on any alleged recording. It appears a fabricated voice recording has been sent anonymously to the CBI. Any suggestion that Sanjay Chandra is linked with this recording is nothing but an attempt to malign him and prejudice his defence in the 2G case. Increasingly, manipulated voice recordings are finding their way into the public domain with ulterior motives. Despite the bereavement in his family, Sanjay Chandra has joined the CBI's enquiries and has made his stand crystal clear. It is regrettable that CNN IBN did not deem it appropriate to wait for a determination by the CBI and forensic experts regarding the genesis and authenticity of the alleged voice recording before airing the same. It is re-iterated that the recording is a fabrication.