In a further development related to the now infamous 2G spectrum scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation conducted searches in premises across nine locations across Chennai, Delhi, Gurgaon, Kolkata and Ambala in connection with the BSNL-WiMax deal.
In its preliminary case registered in 2011, the CBI alleged that former telecom minister Andimuthu Raja (languishing in jail for almost a year now) forced state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd to sign a deal with private firm Starnet Communication to procure the WiMax technology.
The investigative agency is also questioning four senior officials of BSNL who were were responsible for signing the deal with Starnet, according to reports.
Raja has not been named an accused in the new first information report (FIR).
The eligibility conditions for awarding the contract stipulated that the company should have a turnover of at least Rs100 crore. Starnet achieved this figure by manipulating its balance sheet, the CBI charges.
The Central Vigilance Commission has also alleged irregularities in the allotment of the franchise to Starnet, in which Raja is said to have had a close interest.