The CBI has registered an FIR against Bharti Airtel Limited, Tata Communication Limited and Singapore Telecommunications Limited on charges of causing a loss of around Rs. 48 crore to the government by illegally providing international long distance (ILD) services.
“The case has been registered under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code for violation of the licensing norms of the department of telecommunication (DoT),” a CBI spokesperson said.
The FIR was filed on a complaint by the ministry of communications and information technology, which said it had come to the notice of DoT that Singapore Telecommunications Limited — an alleged illegal service provider — was selling unauthorised ILD services to Indian customers without obtaining requisite licences.
It was doing so in connivance with Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications.
The CBI first registered a preliminary enquiry to look into the charges. After a preliminary probe, the agency converted that into an FIR. The DoT had registered a complaint with the CBI on November 29, 2010.
When contacted, Bharti Airtel refused to comment, while quoted Tata Communications was quoted as saying that it would not comment on speculation.