Andimuthu Raja [A. Raja]
Profile of A.Raja
Name :Shri Andimuthu Raja
Constituency from which I am elected :Nilgiris
Father's Name :Shri S.K. Andimuthu
Mother's Name :Smt. Chinnapillai
Date of Birth :5/10/1963
Birth Place :Velur, Distt. Perambalur (Tamil Nadu)
Maritial Status :Married
Date of Marriage :2/4/1996
Spouse Name :Smt. M.A. Parameswari
No. of Children :No.of Sons:0 No.of Daughters:1[Mayuri Raja]
State Name :Tamil Nadu
Party Name :Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam
Permanent Address :Vill. Velur,Taluka and Distt. Perambalur - 621 212 Tamil NaduTels. (04328)277052,268255 Fax. (04328) 276376
Present Address :2-A, Motilal Nehru Marg,New Delhi - 110 011Tels. (011) 23010468, 23016553 (R), 23319696, 23739191, 24329191, 24369191 (O) 09868180390 (M) Fax. (011) 24362333 (O)23017146 (R)
Educational Qualifications :B.Sc., B.L., M.L. Educated at Government Arts College, Musiri, Distt. Trichy; Government Law College, Madurai and Government Law College, Trichy, Tamil Nadu
Positions Held :1/1/1996Elected to 11th Lok Sabha 1/1/1999Re-elected to 13th Lok Sabha (2nd term) 10/13/1999Union Minister of State, Rural Development 9/30/2000Union Minister of State, Health and Family Welfare 5/14/2004Re-elected to 14th Lok Sabha( 3rd term)5/23/2004Union Cabinet Minister, Environment & Forests1/1/2007Union Cabinet Minister, Communication and Information Technology1/1/20071/1/2009Re-elected to 15th Lok Sabha (4th term)2/1/2009Union Cabinet Minister, Communications and Information Technology
Social and Cultural Activities :Contributing articles to leading Tamil and English Dailies and magazines, involved in public life during college days through Dravidar Kazhagam founded by Periyar EVR; President, Dr. Ambedkar Thinkers Forum, Perambalur; Secretary, (i) Rationalist Forum, Perambalur; and (ii) Tamil Ilakkiya Peravai(Literary movement), Perambalur; District Secretary, DMK Party, Perambalur
Special Interests :Activities on Social Reforms
Favourite Pastimes and Recreation :Reading books and writing poems in Tamil
Countries Visited :Widely travelled
Union Cabinet Minister for Communications and Information Technology
In office - 2007–2010
Prime Minister :Manmohan Singh
Preceded by :Dayanidhi Maran
Succeeded by :Kapil Sibal
Political party :DMK
Spouse(s) :M.A. Parameswari
In this Indian name, the name "Andimuthu" is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name, "Raja".
A. Raja (Tamil: ஆ. ராஜா) (born May 10, 1963, Perambalur, Tamil Nadu, India) is an Indian politician from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam(DMK) political party. He is a member of the 15th Lok Sabha representing the Nilgiris constituency of Tamil Nadu. Raja was first elected to the Lok Sabha in 1996 and first served as minister of state from 1999 to 2003. On being re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 2004, he became a cabinet minister in the UPA government. In 2007, he became cabinet minister for communication and information technology. On being re-elected in 2009 he was again appointed cabinet minister for communication and information technology until being tainted in the 2G spectrum scam and resigning in 2010.
Bribery, Corruption: Spectrum Scandal
Main article: 2G spectrum scam
The 2G spectrum financial scandal in the Telecommunications and IT Ministry under A. Raja is noteworthy as the largest political corruption case in modern Indian history, amounting to a record $40 billion loss from underpricing to the Government of India. The alleged modus operandi was telecom bandwidth being grossly undervalued and offered to a chosen few with vested interests, on a dubious 'First-Come-First-Served' basis. It is alleged that it should have been put under a transparent auction system, purportedly advised by higher office.
The bandwidth-spectrum allocation of 2G bandwidth had later come under criticism for gross irregularities. An FIR filed by the CBI claims that the allocation was not done as per market prices, resulting in a scam worth Rs. 200 crore (US$44.4 million). However it had been alleged by Arun Jaitley of Bhartiya Janata Party that the scam is worth around 176,000 crore (US$39.07 billion). The Comptroller and Auditor General holds Raja personally responsible for the sale of 2G spectrum at 2001 rates in 2008, resulting the previously mentioned loss of up to Rs. 1.76 lakh crores (US$40 billion) to the national exchequer. In August, 2010, evidence was submitted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) showing that Raja had personally signed and approved the majority of the questionable allocations. Although the political opposition was demanding his resignation over the 2G spectrum scam, Raja initially refused to resign stating his innocence, and this view was backed by his party president M.Karunanidhi.
The financial scam eventually led to Raja's resignation on the 14th of November, 2010. There will be further criminal investigation and action on Raja with reports being filed by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
In 2011, the results of an investigation by retired judge Shivraj Patil, who was appointed by current telecom minister Kapil Sibal, has also found Raja to have been directly responsible for "procedural lapses" regarding the spectrum scandal. The CBI and Enforcement Directorate estimate that Raja could have made as much as Rs 3,000 crore from the alleged bribes.
In January and February 2011, Raja's homes and offices were raided by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Computers were reportedly seized as part of the evidence that the CBI plans to present against him. Raja and two former associates were arrested on February 2, 2011. The 3 have been taken to Patiala House Courts for enquiries by the CBI on 3 February 2011 After the end of his custody with CBI, A Raja has been sent to Tihar Jail for judicial custody until March 3, 2011. His stay in the Tihar Jail has presently been extended till March 17, 2011. Further put up in Tihar Jail has been extended recently until March 31, 2011 under judicial custody.
He was later backed by his party DMK after his arrest and in general meeting in Chennai party passed a resolution in favor of Raja stating that until charges are proven he is not guilty.
Arrest and Chargesheet
On February 2, 2011, the CBI arrested former Telecommunications Union Minister A. Raja. The CBI also arrested R.K. Chandolia, Raja's personal aide, and Siddharth Behura, the former Telecom Secretary. Both A. Raja and R.K. Chandolia are heard in conversation with Niira Radia in the released Radia tapes.
On February 8, 2011, the CBI arrested Mumbai based Dynamix Balwas (DB) group managing director Shahid Usman Balwa in connection with the 2G spectrum allocation scam. The CBI has evidence from the Income Tax department that Shahid Usman Balwa, considered close to A. Raja, was instrumental in channelling the kickbacks allegedly received by the former telecom minister.
On March 29, 2011, in Delhi, the CBI arrested Asif Balwa (younger brother of the arrested former Managing Director of DB-Etisalat Group, Shahid Balwa) and Rajeev Agarwal for their alleged involvement in money transfer to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's (DMK) Kalaignar TV channel.
On April 02, 2011, the CBI filed its first 80,000 page chargesheet in the 2G spectrum scam before a Special Court in Delhi naming nine individuals and three companies. It said the wrongful acts of the accused deprived the government exchequer of possible revenues amounting to INR Rs 30,985 crore (USD $ 6,983,322,233). The accused include the following individuals:
1) A. Raja, arrested former Telecom minister
2) Siddharth Behura, arrested former Telecom Secretary
3) R.K. Chandolia, A. Raja's arrested former personal secretary
4) Shahid Usman Balwa, arrested former Director of Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB)
5) Sanjay Chandra, Managing Director of Unitech Ltd and Unitech Wireless
6) Gautam Doshi, Group MD, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group
7) Hari Nair, Senior Vice-President, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group
8) Surendra Pipara, Senior Vice-President, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group and Reliance Telecom Ltd
9) Vinod Goenka, Director, Swan Telecom and Managing Director of DB Realty
The three companies named are:
1) Swan Telecom
2) Unitech Wireless
3) Reliance Telecom
In the first chargesheet, the CBI had named lobbyist Niira Radia and 124 others as witnesses.