The CBI on Thursday told a special court that Shahid Balwa-promoted Swan Telecom was ineligible for the Unified Access Services (UAS) in Delhi circle and the company offloaded Rs200 crore in 2009 in Kalaignar TV, in which DMK leaders are believed to have stakes, to "overcome" its ineligibility.
“Balwa's company did not meet the eligibility criteria for UAS licences but still it applied and got the licence for the 2G-spectrum allocation in Delhi", the CBI counsel told Special Judge OP Saini, adding the money transferred was bribe for the favour shown by the then telecom minister A Raja to Swan Telecom. Raja, prime accused in the case, is currently in Tihar Jail after facing several rounds of custodial interrogation.
This happened because Balwa transferred the money to Kalaignar TV after the registration of FIR in the 2G-spectrum scam in October 2009. The agency has already interrogated Balwa, now lodged in Tihar Jail. The court said it would pronounce the order on bail plea of Balwa and Raja's personal secretary RK Chandolia on Friday.
However, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi and Vijay Aggarwal, representing Balwa, rubbished the CBI's arguments stating that the R200 crore transferred to Kalaignar TV was an investment, and that too, through cheque.
Accusing Balwa of involvement in manipulations to restrict the entry other eligible telecom players, the CBI counsel said, "Balwa was in knowledge of licencing parameters. Many players, who were eligible for licences, were simply denied, as Balwa had played his cards."
Pointing out the discrepancies in the allocation of the 2G-spectrum, the CBI counsel said despite availing of the spectrum licence, Balwa's company could not roll out its services in Delhi in the last three years. "This shows that Swan Telecom was wrongly awarded the licence," the counsel said.
The CBI said it was investigating several telecom players in the scam and "as the need arises more people would be arrested".