The focus of the prosecution in the initial phase of the 2G trial will be the circumstances leading to the incorporation of Swan Telecom, how it applied for the unified access service licence and the transfer of ownership. The trial will start on November 11.
Keeping that in mind, the CBI has listed Reliance (ADAG) group president AN Sethuraman, Reliance Capital Ltd assistant vice-president Anand Subramaniam and Reliance Infrastructure (ADAG) general manager Ashish Karyekar as the first three witnesses to depose.
The ADAG group had a stake in Swan but it later exited the company. Shahid Balwa-controlled DB Realty, the promoter of Swan, then sold 45% to Etisalat DB.
"The sequence of (deposition of witnesses) has been prepared (in accordance with) the sequence of circumstances listed in the chargesheet. Therefore, first we will focus on the incorporation of companies, and then on the events that unfolded in the department of telecommunication. Later the stage of trial will focus on the beneficiaries of the scam," said a source. Of the first three witnesses, Karyekar's deposition will be a test case for the CBI. During the probe his statement was recorded under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), making it admissible as evidence in court.
If Karyekar sticks to his statement, it will give boost to the CBI's case against the accused.
"Deposition will take time. There are 17 accused in the case and after every deposition, every accused will be given the opportunity to cross-examine the witness," said a defence lawyer.