iconimg Sunday, March 29, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 04, 2014
The CBI will soon examine Tata Group chairman Cyrus P Mistry and its former chief Ratan Tata as part of its probe into former corporate lobbyist Niira Radia’s taped conversations with several high-profile individuals.

A CBI source said investigators would first speak to Mistry about three preliminary enquiries (PEs) registered by the agency in October 2013. The source said Tata would be examined after getting some clarifications from Mistry.

“We don’t have any information on this. We do not know about this,” a Tata Sons spokesperson said when asked to comment.

Acting on the Supreme Court’s directive, the CBI had registered 14 enquiries to probe possible offences emerging out of conversations between Radia and high-profile politicians, bureaucrats, journalists and businessmen, including Tata. The conversations were originally intercepted by the government as part of a tax evasion investigation. A senior official, however, stressed the agency had “not come across any criminality” so far.

Of the three PEs, one is related to alleged irregularities in the allocation of an iron ore mine in Jharkhand to Tata Steel. Then state chief minister Madhu Koda and other state officials are already under investigation, the official said.

The second PE is regarding the supply of low-floor buses by Tata Motors to the Tamil Nadu government under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission scheme, according to the official. The agency may also seek clarifications from Mistry on the alleged market manipulation and hammering of stocks of a private firm by Radia.    

“As part of the probe, we will seek clarifications from Cyrus Mistry since Rata Tata has retired,” a senior CBI official told HT, adding, “After taking Mistry’s version, we will also seek clarifications from Ratan Tata.”

The agency had earlier indicated it may inform the top court that its investigation has found no criminality. A news channel journalist and a senior executive of a leading newspaper group have already been examined by the agency.

Tata had in November 2010 moved the SC asking it to protect his right to privacy and a CBI inquiry to nail those who leaked the official telephone intercepts of Radia, including conversations featuring him.