5,851 Radia calls on CBI checklist, itís at halfway mark

The CBI is currently listening to 5,851 calls, many lasting 30-40 minutes, recorded in an Income Tax department surveillance of corporate lobbyist Nira Radia's phone.

In an affidavit filed before the Supreme Court on Monday, the CBI calls the exercise of listening to and analysing her calls as "painful and long", and does not rule out that many of the conversations may have nothing whatsoever to do with the 2G Spectrum transactions under investigation.

"About 3,500 calls of these have now been analysed," stated the CBI affidavit filed by Suresh Kumar Palsania, DIG and Head of Branch, CBI Anti-Corruption Branch in open court.

The CBI had originally sought the "complete recordings" of Radia's phone from the IT department over a year ago, on November 26, 2009. But the department had obliged only on May 20, 2010.

The complete phone recordings were in the form of evidence, that is with data integrity certificate, the CBI stressed.

Incidentally, the portable drive containing the recordings is called 'Media', the affidavit said.

Addressing allegations relating to why Radia had not yet been examined by the agency, the affidavit says: "It is when the materials based on these calls are cross-checked, verified and relevant evidence on matters disclosed by these calls are obtained through investigation, entirety of the material would be put to Ms Radia at the appropriate time."

It cautioned that any "premature disclosure" of the materials connecting Radia at this stage may only act prejudicial to a successful investigation.

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