A senior official of Reliance Infrastructure Limited, an Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group company, has corroborated the CBI’s claim that the ownership of Swan Telecom was “fraudulently transferred” from Reliance to DB Realty group, owned by Shahid Usman Balwa, a key accused in the 2G spectrum scam case.
If the admission is upheld, it would help prove the CBI allegation that Reliance ADAG held a majority stake in Swan Telecom when it applied for a 2G telecom license, making the company ineligible to do so.
Reliance ADAG has denied any wrongdoing in this matter. A company spokesperson, however, refused to comment, saying: “The matter is sub-judice.”
In a statement recorded before metropolitan magistrate Bhavna Kalia under Section 164 of the CrPC, Reliance Infrastructure general manager Ashish Karyekar said no board meeting of Giraffe Consultancy, an ADAG associate company, took place on February 25, 2007.
Karyekar was the first director of Giraffe. According to the “forged” board minutes, he had chaired the meeting. The decision to transfer Giraffe Consultancy, which owned a majority stake in Swan Telecom, to the DB Realty group was allegedly taken at this meeting.
"I don’t know who prepared the said forged minutes of Giraffe, as the same might have been prepared after Giraffe Consultancy was taken over by DB group,” Karyekar told the court.
The minutes of three subsequent meetings, too, bore his forged signatures, he added.
A statement made under Section 164 of CrPC is admissible as evidence in a court of law and if the person withdraws it, he/she is liable to be prosecuted for perjury.
HT has a copy of Karyekar's statement.
In its first chargesheet filed on April 2, the CBI had charged former telecom minister A Raja, Balwa, Reliance Infocomm, Unitech Wireless, Swan Telecom and seven others with cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and corruption
in the allocation of 2G spectrum licences in January 2008, which allegedly caused a loss of Rs 30,984.55 crore to the exchequer.
Three Reliance ADAG officials — managing director Gautam Doshi and senior vice-presidents Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara — have also been named as accused in the chargesheet.
According to the chargesheet, “Balwa and co-accused Vinod Goenka (Swan Telecom promoter) created false documents, including board minutes of Giraffe Consultancy Pvt Ltd to show the alleged fraudulent transfer of its shares by Reliance ADAG group during February 2007 itself."