Mumbai-based chartered accountant Ashok Wadhwa, who was shown as a share-holder in Swan Telecom when the firm applied for 2G-spectrum licence in March 2007, has denied his association with it.
Wadhwa’s statement corroborates CBI allegations that three accused Reliance ADAG officials had “dishonestly misrepresented to the DoT” that Tiger Traders was not a Reliance ADAG associate, but was held by Wadhwa’s group, India Telecom Infrastructure Fund.
In his statement recorded before a metropolitan magistrate, Wadhwa said: “I confirm that neither I nor my family members have invested any money in the companies (Swan and Tiger). I confirm that I have neither accepted to be appointed on the board of these firms. I also confirm I have not attended any board meeting for either.”
Wadhwa’s name figured as a director attending the board meetings of both Swan and Tiger Traders. The Ashok Wadhwa group was shown as holding interest in the corporate beneficiaries of the India Telecom Infrastructure Fund (ITIF) whose shares were held by Tiger Traders.
According to the CBI chargesheet filed on April 2, Tiger Traders was a Reliance ADAG associate and had majority stake in Swan Telecom at the time of applying for the licence. This made Swan ineligible for the spectrum in view of DoT rules that an existing telecom player should not have more than 10% stake to be eligible for the licence. CBI further alleged that the Reliance ADAG officials — Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara — misrepresented facts to to make Swan eligible for the application.
Wadhwa recorded his disclosure on oath on March 22 after CBI interrogated him twice. He claimed he had seen the alleged forged minutes of Swan and Tiger for the first time during the CBI interrogation.
He, however, admitted Doshi had spoken to him in January 2007 about Reliance ADAG’s plan to invest in a company that would apply for telecom licence for J&K . According to his statement, Doshi had also asked Wadhwa to invest around R200 crore in the company and offered to make him the director. Wadhwa declined the offer.