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HindustanTimes Mon,29 Dec 2014

2G scam heat may now affect Anil Ambani: CBI

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 29, 2011
First Published: 16:35 IST(29/9/2011) | Last Updated: 09:12 IST(30/9/2011)

The 2G scam heat may now affect Reliance ADAG chief Anil Ambani, as the CBI told the Supreme Court on Thursday that the three executives of his company arrested in the case had distanced themselves from any wrongdoing.

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The agency, however, virtually gave clean chits to Tata Teleservices and the Videocon group.

The CBI said the RADAG executives were not the "real beneficiaries" of the restructuring of the shareholding in Swan Telecom that got a spectrum licence on January 10, 2008 - during former telecom minister A Raja's tenure.

Swan - in which Reliance ADAG had 9.9% holding - was ineligible for the licence as Reliance was an established player in the industry.

CBI counsel KK Venugopal told a bench of justice GS Singhvi and justice AK Ganguly that Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair, the three Reliance executives who were arrested on April 20, might turn approvers and the agency was identifying the real beneficiaries for whom they had acted.

The RADAG executives retracted statements - given during the probe- in the HC later.

Citing their arguments for bail in the court, Venugopal said the three had denied having any financial interest in the company and claimed they were just Reliance employees.

A Reliance Telecom spokesperson said, "None of the three Reliance executives charge-sheeted by CBI have at any stage till date expressed any desire to become approvers. The distorted media reporting on this issue is a very serious matter and will be acted upon. It is reiterated neither Reliance Telecom nor the promoters are beneficiaries of any telecom licences issued in January 2008."

Venugopal said the agency was also probing the role of some more Reliance ADAG officials regarding the share transactions among Swan, Delphi and Etisalat.

Swan sold 107.90 lakh shares- allegedly held by RADAG -to Delphi at Rs. 15 a share. The whole lot was later sold to Etisalat by Delphi at Rs. 285 a share.

"The shares given to Delphi were grossly undervalued and Reliance had received $4 million," he said while reading out reports received from Mauritius.

He also refuted the allegations that the CBI had not probed the benefit derived by Tata Teleservices and Datacom of the Videocon Group in the scam.

He argued the Tata group company was a loser and never gifted any land to DMK chief M Karunanidhi's family.

But the contribution given by the Tatas and other corporate groups to Kanimozhi's NGO just a few days before the licence was granted was under scrutiny.

On Datacom, Venugopal said, the licence granted to the company to operate in 22 circles was in consonance with the policy.

He also rejected the allegation that Venugopal Dhoot, owner of Videocon Group and brother of Rajya Sabha member Rajkumar Dhoot, was present when the letters of intent were issued.


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