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CBI wants further probe in Radia tapes

delhi Updated: Aug 11, 2013 03:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The CBI is waiting for a final go-ahead from the Supreme Court to register fresh probes or expand earlier probes in half a dozen issues involving top corporate houses on the basis of intercepted phone conversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia.

"After listening to around 5800 conversations, we have brought out 16 instances before the top court which can be further looked into. Out of these 16 instances of alleged criminality, the CBI wants to probe around half a dozen cases. About the rest, we want different agencies to take charge. Once we get clear instructions from the SC, we will move further," said a CBI source.

These phone calls were intercepted by the Income Tax department and later handed over the CBI for its probe into the 2G spectrum case.

But the SC asked the CBI and Income Tax departments to look more issues of criminalities in the conversations after which the CBI made submissions.


A spokesman for Radia refused to offer any comments on the issue.

In its submission to the top court, the CBI has pointed out Radia's conversations about Anil Ambani's Sasan Ultra Mega power project in which it was alleged that the company was allowed to use excess coal for other projects.

A Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group spokesperson said: "These are baseless allegations by a paid lobbyist, admittedly working for our corporate rivals. The use of surplus coal from our Sasan UMPP has been approved on two separate occasions by two Empowered Groups of Ministers headed by Pranab Mukherjee. The Delhi High Court has also dismissed a petition on this matter.

One of the conversations pointed out by the probe agency is about manipulation of Unitech's stock and markets. A Unitech spokesperson refused to offer any comment since the matter was sub judice. The CBI wants this matter to be probed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

The CBI also wants to probe few conversations about alleged favours given to former director general of Hydrocarbons VK Sibal by Reliance Industries Limited (RIL).

A RIL spokesperson declined to comment while Sibal said the CBI was investigating the matter since 2009 and if it had found anything they would have converted it into a regular case.

Another issue brought out by the CBI pertains to alleged fudging of records of Reliance Communications which led to revenue loss. Few other conversations allegedly indicate about allotment of iron ore mines to the ADAG.

An ADAG spokesperson said: "The alleged loss of revenue relates to industry issues and all telecom operators have already been granted stay orders by the courts against any action by the DoT. As regards iron ore mines, we are not in this business and have not been allotted any such mines, which further demonstrate the utter lack of credibility of all such allegations."

There are few conversations about corruption in judiciary and tribunals on which the CBI wants the SC to take a call.

Few more conversations pertain to Tata Motors vying for a bus contract in Tamil Nadu which the CBI wants state police to probe. A Tata Motors spokesperson said: "We would like to emphasize that Tata Motors did not engage with the Tamil Nadu government to seek any undue favours with respect to the JNNURM bus orders. Despite qualifying, Tata Motors initially did not receive any order at all; but consequently after making representations, Tata Motors was awarded a part of the contract though less than what was prescribed as per the bid document. We remain committed to robust regulations and processes in all our tendering."

Another issue of phone conversations that the CBI wants Jharkhand police to probe is alleged bribe demand by former state chief minister Madhu Koda from Tata Steel for a mining license. Madhu Koda could not be reached for comments.