India 'scam' minister A Raja's aide is found dead

Sadiq Batcha Mr Batcha had been questioned by federal officials investigating the telecoms scandal

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An associate of former Indian Telecommunications Minister A Raja has committed suicide, police say.

Sadiq Batcha hanged himself at his home in Madras (Chennai), reports say.

Mr Batcha had recently been questioned by federal investigators about his suspected role in a multi-billion dollar telecoms scandal.

Mr Raja is in prison in connection with the scandal, accused of selling mobile phone frequency licences for a fraction of their value. He denies wrongdoing.

Auditors estimate the alleged mis-selling of the licences cost the exchequer nearly $40bn (£24.5bn) in lost revenue.

Sadiq Batcha, a close associate of Mr Raja, owned a real estate company.

It was raided by federal investigators in December, a month after Mr Raja was forced to resign.

Mr Raja was arrested in February by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

India's former Telecom Minister A Raja at the Central Bureau of Investigation in Delhi on 24 December 2010 A Raja quit in November amid what has been described as India's biggest corruption investigation

Ex-Telecommunications Secretary Siddharth Behuria and Mr Raja's aide RK Chandolia were also held.

India is the world's fastest growing mobile phone market.

Mr Raja is accused of issuing the frequency licences on a "first-come, first-served" basis instead of auctioning them.

Critics said the low return was underscored when India's auction last May of mobile bandwidth ended up reaping $15bn (£9.4bn), twice the sum expected.

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