Anil Ambani attended RTL meeting for investing in Swan: 2G case witness
Anil Ambani, Chairman of Reliance ADA Group, had attended the meeting of Reliance Telecom Ltd in which the board had "noted" that investment of Rs 992 crore in Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd was a "long-term strategic investment", a prosecution witness in the 2G spectrum case told a Delhi court.delhi Updated: Feb 15, 2012 22:14 IST
Anil Ambani, Chairman of Reliance ADA Group, had attended the meeting of Reliance Telecom Ltd in which the board had "noted" that investment of Rs 992 crore in Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd was a "long-term strategic investment", a prosecution witness in the 2G spectrum case told a Delhi court.
Sateesh Seth, non-executive Director of Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) and a chartered accountant, said he, Anil Ambani, S P Shukla and Gautam Doshi, an accused in the case, had attended the April 29, 2007, board meeting of RTL.
"I have also been shown a certified true copy of extract of the minutes of the meeting of board of directors of Reliance Telecom Limited held on April 29, 2007. I myself attended this meeting. This meeting was also attended by S P Shukla, Gautam Doshi and Anil Ambani.
"......In this meeting, the board noted that 'investment in 99,20,000 8 % non-cumulative redeemable preference shares (NCRPS) each of Rs 1 each at a premium of Rs 999 per preference share aggregating to Rs 992 crore of Swan Telecom (P) Limited (STPL) was in the nature of long-term strategic investment," Seth told Special CBI Judge O P Saini. (
Testifying as a prosecution witness, Seth said the board of RTL, in its April 29, 2007 meeting, noted that a long-term investment in Swan Telecom was required as it was engaged in the Telecommunication industry.
"In view of the nature of the industry in which STPL is engaged viz. Telecommunication, involving long gestation period, investment in the books of the company be stated at cost and no provision for diminution as long-term investment in STPL was required to be made," he said.
He said Gaurang Shah, who is handling the secretarial work of RTL and Hasit Shukla were general authorised signatories and one of them had signed papers regarding this investment.
Seth, however, said since the board of RTL had only noted the investment, he cannot say who executed this transaction.
He said that as per the extract of the minutes of the Board meeting of RTL held on October 22, 2005, a resolution was passed to the effect that a committee of directors comprising him, S P Shukla and Shah, acting alone, was authorised to invest and deal with the monies of the company, provided that the outstanding amount of such investments shall not exceed Rs 1,000 crore.
Seth said that as per the minutes of Board meeting of RTL held on January 30, 2007, the Board was informed that pursuant to delegated authority for investment, the company has invested in 2,97,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each at par and 2,80,000, 8 % non-cumulative redeemable preference share of Rs one each at a premium of Rs 999 per share of Swan Capital (P) Limited and the board had noted the same.
"In this meeting, three or four directors of the company participated and these included B D Khurana, S P Shukla, myself and perhaps Anil Ambani also. However, B D Khurana resigned on that day itself. In this meeting, in place of B D Khurana, Gautam Doshi was appointed as Director of company,"
On being shown the photocopies of the authorisation regarding delegations of power by him and Gaurang Shah, Seth said Shah had delegated his powers on December 1, 2007, to Gautam Doshi, as authorized signatory, for dis-investment and realizing the sale proceeds of 1,07,91,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each held by RTL in Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd.
Seth, whose recording of statement concluded today, was shown the certified copy of the extract of the minutes of the meeting of the Board of Directors of RTL held on October 30, 2007, and he said he, S P Shukla, Gautam Doshi and "perhaps" Anil Ambani had attended it.
"In this Board meeting (of October 30, 2007), the Board was informed about the disinvestment of 99,22,000 8 % non-cumulative redeemable preference shares of Rs one each of Swan Telecom (P) Limited," he said.
He said that as per the minutes of meeting of RTL board of Directors held on January 30, 2008, the board was informed about disinvestment of 1,07,91,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each of Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd.
Seth, in his statement recorded to CBI earlier during the investigation, had said decisions regarding investment/disinvestment of equity shares or NCRPS held by RTL in STPL were taken by Gautam Doshi.
In the cross-examination by the defence counsel, Seth said Doshi, Pipara and Nair, being the employees of Reliance ADA Group, were not part of any business team of the company.
After the conclusion of Seth's testimony, the court also recorded the statement of prosecution witness Viresh Goel, a Department of Telecom (DoT) official who was on deputation in the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) from January 2010 to June 2011.
Goel identified his signature on a letter which he had forwarded to CBI in March last year along with service area-wise list of Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR)/ MHz per year for 2007 for the GSM services.