I don’t know Niira Radia: Koda

Thursday, December 16, 2010

RANCHI - Jailed former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda Thursday denied knowing business lobbyist Niira Radia, who has heard alleging that he demanded Rs.150 crore in bribe to issue a mining lease.

“Who is Niira Radia? I do not know Niira Radia,” Koda told reporters when he was produced in a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here in a graft case.

“I have never met Niira Radia. I have seen her face only in newspapers,” he said.

Radia is at the heart of the raging 2G spectrum scandal after tapes of her intercepted telephonic conversations showed her actively lobbying for A. Raja to be made the communications minister last year.

In one tape published by Outlook magazine, she is heard saying that she met Koda in Ranchi and that he sought the bribe to give a mining lease for the Tata group.

Tata Steel says it never got any mining lease during Kodas tenure.

The CBI court Thursday extended Koda’s judicial custody till Dec 23. Koda had urged the court to make better arrangements for his medical treatment.

Koda, in jail since Nov 30 last year, was arrested on charges of holding assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. He is at the heart of a Rs.25,000 crore money laundering scam.

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