The CBI has said that it has no idea who recorded conversations between its prosecutor in the telecom scam and Unitech Managing Director Sanjay Chandra, one of the main people being investigated by the agency.
The CBI fired the prosecutor, AK Singh, who is allegedly heard offering legal advice to Mr Chandra. Today, the agency's chief, Ranjit Sinha, told a parliamentary committee that's studying the scam that the CD was delivered anonymously ten days ago to a senior official, and that its authenticity is being verified through forensic tests.
Mr Chandra released a statement last night flatly denying allegations of collusion; but this morning, Unitech stock was down by 20%. (Read his statement here
The taped conversation allegedly took place in September last year, said CBI sources, which has the agency wondering why the CD was delivered so many months later.
Unitech had a mobile phone joint venture with Norway's Telenor and its license was among the 122 cancelled by the Supreme Court last year. Telenor is in the process of dissolving the joint venture.
The telecom scam, evaluated by the government's auditor at 1.76 lakh crores, was allegedly engineered by A Raja when he was Telecom Minister to give out-of-turn licenses and free second-generation airwaves to companies like Unitech.
Mr Raja and Mr Chandra are being tried by a special CBI court in Delhi, along with executives from some of India's best-known firms.
Lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan, whose Public Interest Litigations have led to the Supreme Court monitoring the CBI's investigations in the telecom scandal, said that if the conversations are proved genuine, Mr Chandra's bail should be cancelled. Like Mr Raja, the Unitech MD spent many months in prison before being granted bail.