Thursday, February 17, 2011

2G Scam: CBI confronts Ambani and Raja

February 17, 2011 New Delhi:

It was face-to-face confrontation between ADAG chairman Anil Ambani and former Telecom Minister A Raja at CBI headquarters over the issue of Dual Technology permit to RCom and its alleged association with Swan Telecom.

The investigators repeatedly questioned the duo last evening over the equity issues of Swan telecom for nearly an hour but both remained \"non-cooperative\" and stuck to their stand, sources privy to the investigations said Thursday.

The questions pertained to whether Reliance Communication directly or through its subsidiary held more than 10 per cent equity, a threshold for cross-holding in two services providers in the same circle, the sources said.

Swan Telecom, in which Tiger Traders Private Limited have 90.13 and Reliance Telecom Limited has 9.87 per cent equity share capital, has been under the scanner over alleged diversion of funds to DMK-owned Kalaignar television.

Ambani, 51, was called to the CBI headquarters yesterday for questioning by the agency in connection with the 2G Spectrum scam.

DB Realty group managing director Shahid Usman Balwa, promoter of Swan telecom, is already in the CBI custody.

According to the CAG, four Companies including Reliance Communications Ltd were provided CDMA based mobile service under Unified Access Service licence.

Based on the recommendations of TRAI, use of dual technology was permitted on October 17, 2007 and RCom is alleged to have applied for the same even before the announcement of the policy.

Reliance Communication Ltd. had complied with the requirements for permission to use dual technology on October 19, 2007 itself by depositing the non refundable entry fee of Rs 1,645 crore for 20 service areas through Reliance Infocomm Ltd.

The CAG had said that acceptance of bank draft from Reliance Infocomm Ltd (third party) on behalf of Reliance Communications Ltd was not in order and showed the hurry in which the entry fee was deposited.

In a statement here, ADAG had yesterday said, \"during the course of his weekly visit to New Delhi, Ambani \"met CBI officials to clarify ongoing issues, relating to telecom matters for the years 2001 to 2010\".

The ADAG statement said, \"neither Reliance Telecom nor RCOM nor any Reliance ADAG individual, company or affiliate held even a single share in Swan Telecom Ltd at the time of grant of the 2G licence to them in January, 2008, or at any time thereafter\".

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