Corporate affairs ministry sent vague reply on Essar: CBI
The CBI has said that the Corporate Affairs Ministry chose to send a "non-committal vague report" on the alleged control of Essar Group over Loop Telecom instead of conveying a definite opinion to Department of Telecommunication (DoT).business Updated: Dec 25, 2011 14:48 IST
The CBI has said that the Corporate Affairs Ministry chose to send a "non-committal vague report" on the alleged control of Essar Group over Loop Telecom instead of conveying a definite opinion to Department of Telecommunication (DoT).
The charge sheet filed by CBI, in a special court in Delhi, says that the DoT had sought the Corporate Affairs Ministry's opinion whether a case was made out or not on a complaint received by it during 2008-10 alleging that Ms Loop Telecom was Essar group company under "corporate veil" and licenses issued to it were in violation of clause eight to the UASL guidelines.
The clause says no single company, either directly or through its associates, should have substantial equity holding in more than one license company in the same service area for the same service area.
"Investigation has revealed that the Deputy Director (Inspection), Ministry of Corporate Affairs, who examined the matter in detail concluded that the clause eight of the UASL guidelines had been violated. However, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, instead of conveying such a definite opinion to DoT, chose to send a non-committal vague report elaborating the significant control of Essar group over M/s Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd.
"In the light of such a general report on facts, the Department of Telecommunications took a broad view of the matter and decided to wait for any fresh inputs for deciding the matter, even though many a concerned officers of DoT had recommended to issue show cause notices to M/s Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd," the agency said in the charge sheet.
Essar group has denied any wrongdoings and said that it had only 2.13 per cent share in the Loop Telecom, which also has claimed of adhering to the rules. The charge sheet said the public servants of the Corporate Affairs Ministry and DoT "chose" to take a "broad view of this serious matter", despite there being "strong suggestions" of clause eight of the UASL guidelines being violated in the grant of telecom licenses to Loop.
"The public servants belonging to Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Department of Telecommunications even chose not to investigate the matter under the provisions of Companies Act and allowed the matter to rest," it alleged.
The CBI said it has forwarded a self-contained note on these finding to Ministry of Corporate Affairs and Department of Telecommunications for taking such action as deemed fit against the "erring officials".
The charge sheet, however, said the probe has not revealed evidence to prove "mala-fide" on the part of public servants in the matter.
The agency had filed its third charge sheet, on December 12, in the 2G spectrum allocation case seeking prosecution of five persons, including Essar group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Essar group director (strategy and planning) Vikas Saraf, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan and her husband IP Khaitan and two companies -- Essar group and Loop Telecom -- under charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating.