Economy

CBI nails corporates' role in 2G scam

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 05, 2011

Swan, Unitech conspired with Raja



The charge-sheet filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation reveals that a number of corporates, including Swan Telecom, Unitech Wireless, Reliance Telecom and Genex Exim, were the primary collaborators with IT and Communications Minister, Mr A. Raja, in the 2G scam.

Investigation has revealed that three executives from Reliance Telecom — Mr Gautam Doshi, Mr Surendra Pipara and Mr Hari Nair — created the net worth of Swan Telecom out of funds arranged from Reliance Telecom for applying for new licences.

The deal was done through a complex structure in such a manner that Swan's association with Reliance may not be detected.

The CBI said that Rs 992 crore, which constituted bulk of the net worth of Swan Telecom, was also paid by Reliance Telecom.

Modus operandi

Giving details of the modus operandi, the CBI said that Tiger Traders, which held a majority stake in Swan, was an associate company of Reliance ADA Group. Both Swan and Tiger had no business history and were created solely for the purpose of applying for new licences. Investigations about the holding structure of Tiger Traders have revealed that the three Reliance Telecom executives also structured two other companies — Zebra Consultancy and Parrot Consultants. These three companies were cross-holding equity in each other. The CBI has blamed the three executives for misrepresenting facts to the DoT that Tiger Traders was held by India Telecom Infrastructure.

“During investigation the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has also confirmed that Swan Telecom was an associate of Reliance Telecom,” CBI said.

The investigating agency said that though the Department of Telecom had received complaints alleging Reliance's link with Swan, the same was not considered by Mr Raja or DoT officers.

CBI said that all decisions by Mr Raja linked to the 2G allocation were done in conspiracy with corporates including Mr Sanjay Chandra of Unitech and Shahid Balwa of DB Realty.

Unitech

In the case of Unitech, the CBI said the company was not eligible at the time of applying for licence. Unitech Group companies were included in the eligible list despite inadequate spectrum. “Unitech Group, having object clause of realty, did not even have their object clauses under Memorandum & Articles of Association amended before applying to enter into business of telecom. Unitech group fraudulently concealed critical information in this regard to avoid rejection for being ineligible…they acquired eligibility after the grant of licence,” the charge-sheet said.

The CBI said that after acquiring the licences illegally, the promoters of Unitech Wireless made a windfall gain of Rs 2,342 crore by selling equity stake to Norway's Telenor. “Actual investment of promoters in equity was Rs 138 crore, which was valued at Rs 2,480 crore indicating a gain of Rs 2,342 crore.

The charge-sheet said that both Unitech and Swan had prior knowledge of the Telecom Ministry's decision to change the criteria for first come first served policy and had kept the draft ready as early as November 2007.

Published on April 02, 2011

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