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2G Scam: Supreme Court Quashes 122 Licences issued in 2008

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2G case: Court issues notice to CBI

Courtesy: NDTV

New Delhi: A Delhi court today issued notice to the CBI, asking it to file a detailed report on whether its probe in the 2G spectrum case covers the aspect of national security as raised by Janta Party chief Subramanian Swamy in his private complaint seeking prosecution of former Telecom Minister A Raja.

"Issue notice to the CBI to file its detailed report of the investigation being carried out by it and whether it covers the aspect of national security as raised by Subramanian Swamy in the present case," Special CBI Judge Pradeep Chaddah said.

During the hearing, the court queried if they can still proceed in the case before it in the wake of Raja's arrest by the CBI.

Seeking CBI's response in the matter, the court posted the hearing for February 23.

"I am of the opinion that this court should not proceed for the time being with this matter", the judge said while issuing notice to the CBI.

Swamy, meanwhile, submitted before the court that he is intending to move an application to implead some other persons, including Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, as accused in this complaint.

Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai, who had been summoned by the court to appear as witness on Swamy's complaint, has filed a certified copy of the entire report concerning this matter through his advocate Sandeep Sethi.

The Special CBI judge had on January 22 sought presence of Rai and Director CAG R P Singh in the court today to depose as witnesses on the complaint by Swamy seeking registration of a criminal case against Raja for his alleged role in the scam, which, according to the CAG, caused a presumptive loss of 1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer.

The court had on January 7 held as "maintainable" the private complaint filed by Swamy on December 15 last year.

He had made a three-fold prayer which included that his complaint is taken cognizance of and Raja be summoned to take the case to its logical conclusion.

As per the second prayer, Swamy wanted the court to appoint him "as a deemed public prosecutor under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act."

Swamy also wanted the court's directions to agencies like the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) to assist him in conducting prosecution and further investigation into the scam.

Quoting from the CAG report, Swamy had alleged that Raja committed fraud by adopting the first-come-first-served basis in allocating Spectrum to ineligible companies.

Edited by KumaarShah

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If violations began in 2001 or 2003 or any other year as claimed by Sibal Uncle (or is it Uncle Sam) does it give the Congress Party a licence to continue with the same mistake and then claim the predecessors were indulging in it and so we also did the same?

So going by their above argument, the Congress and the DMK party leaders will also justify corruption, bribery, murders, rapes etc etc as their predecessors might have done it earlier. They will also say that having money in Swiss Banks is perfectly legal and correct as the earlier people before them might have done the same.

This argument (by Kapil, MMS, SG, RG, MK, AR etc etc) is ridiculous to say the least.

Edited by KumaarShah
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If violations began in 2001 or 2003 or any other year as claimed by Sibal Uncle (or is it Uncle Sam) does it give the Congress Party a licence to continue with the same mistake and then claim the predecessors were indulging in it and so we also did the same?

So going by their above argument, the Congress and the DMK party leaders will also justify corruption, bribery, murders, rapes etc etc as their predecessors might have done it earlier. They will also say that having money in Swiss Banks is perfectly legal and correct as the earlier people before them might have done the same.

This argument (by Kapil, MMS, SG, RG, MK, AR etc etc) is ridiculous to say the least.

Sir ji, your each and every word is undeniable... +1 to you..

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Raja remanded to CBI custody for two more days

The Economic Times l 8 Feb l New Delhi

Former Telecom Minister A Raja was on Tuesday remanded to two more days of CBI custody by a court here for further interrogation after the agency submitted that he was not divulging any "useful information" regarding his role in the 2G scam.

Special Judge O P Saini also sent former Telecom Secretary Siddartha Behura and Raja's former Personal Secretary R K Chandolia to Tihar Jail under judicial custody as the agency said it no longer needs them in its custody.

Raja will remain in CBI custody till February 10. The trio, arrested by the agency on February 2 for their alleged role in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, involving a loss of Rs 22,000 crore to the public exchequer as per the CVC estimates, were produced before the Special Judge following expiry of their five-day custody with the CBI.

After producing the trio before the court, the CBI sought four more days of custody to interrogate Raja saying that he was "not divulging any useful and crucial information" about his role in 2G spectrum scam.

"Some more documents are to be recovered and accused A Raja is to be confronted with them," senior CBI prosecutor Akhilesh submitted.

Refuting allegations by Raja's counsel Ramesh Gupta that the agency had not disclosed to the court the outcome of the probe conducted so far in this case, Akhilesh said, "The case diary has already been submitted to the court. Each and everything cannot be disclosed in the open courtroom."

Opposing CBI's demand for four more days of Raja's custody, Gupta said, "I am not having the custody of any document, which the CBI wants to recover from me."

"Whatever documents were there, they have already been seized by them in 2009 itself," he added.

About Behura and Chandolia, the CBI counsel said the agency no longer needs their custody. "The two can be sent to Tihar Jail under judicial custody," he said.

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'Raja made 3,000cr in bribes'

The Times of India l 11 Feb l New Delhi

The CBI and Enforcement Directorate investigations have estimated that former telecom minister A Raja could have got bribes to the tune of Rs 3,000 crore, and have put the loss to the exchequer due to selling of spectrum at undervalued rates at Rs 40,000-50,000 crore.

The two agencies have linked bribes Raja allegedly got to his order on January 2008 bringing forward the cut-off date for applications for spectrum from the initial October 21, 2007 to September 25, 2007. The deadline switch eliminated many applications, enabling Raja to favour a few with spectrum. In the process, he allegedly became richer by some Rs 3,000 crore.

These are initial estimates of Raja's alleged new-found wealth as well as the loss to the exchequer and are not part of the progress report submitted by the CBI and ED to the Supreme Court on Thursday.

In their report, the two agencies said some companies who got the licences had got drafts for licence fees ready even before the revised cut-off date of September 25, 2007, implying they were aware of the plan to change the deadline. The companies that have been accused of collusion with Raja include Swan, Unitech, Videocon, S-Tel and Aircel.

The new licencees got huge foreign investments. One of them brought in share capital worth S$625 million. CBI counsel K K Venugopal told the court the licencees attracted investments in US, Japanese, and Mauritian currency.

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Reliance Group said on Saturday that CBI had "examined" several of its officials over alleged irregularities in the awarding of 2008 mobile phone licences.

- Hindustan Times

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2G scam: No auction, hence no basis to calculate loss, says PM

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seemed unwilling to contradict Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal's claim that there was "zero loss" from the allocation of 2G spectrum saying that it was difficult to calculate the actual loss in the absence of an auction.

"The then existing policy of the government was that auctions should not take place and if auctions have not taken place, then what is the basis to calculate the loss? There are various estimates but you have to assess what is the right magnitude after asking yourself what was the right price," the prime minister told during his interaction with editors of the electronic media. "CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) itself has said that it is a presumptive loss," he added.

The statement comes a day after the CBI chief AP Singh, told Parliament's Public Accounts Committee that the loss to the exchequer could be around Rs50,000 crore. He even said that this estimate could be revised after the investigations are complete.

On his part, the prime minister, however, insisted that the loss on account of 2G spectrum allocation would vary as per the methodology used for calculation.

The prime minister tried to delink himself from the controversy. He claimed that the 2G issue was "never brought to me or the Cabinet" and the decision to allocate spectrum licences in 2008 was entirely that of the telecom minister. "In allocation of 2G spectrum, the issue of licences was never brought to me or the Cabinet. That was the decision of the (then communication) minister," he said, adding that A Raja had assured him of "complete transparency" on the issue.

Singh said he had written to Raja on November 2, 2007, asking him to look into a number of issues and ensure that they are dealt in an equitable, fair and transparent manner. "One of the issues that I asked him to look into was the possibility from the legal and technical angle, of having an auction of spectrum." However, Raja wrote back to him almost immediately saying that he had been absolutely transparent in dealings and would continue to be so in the future. "You have my assurance that I have done nothing and I will do nothing that will be inconsistent to the promise that I have made to you," Singh said, citing Raja's letter.

According to the prime minister, Raja also told him that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Telecom Commission were not in favour of auction of 2G licences. "He (Raja) said that if we had auction it would not give a level playing field for newcomers because the existing players have got the spectrum free of charge up to a certain mega hertz," Singh said, adding that the minister, in a subsequent communication, mentioned that although he was agreeable to auctioning 3G spectrum, "with regard to 2G spectrum, he was very clear that we should stay with the then existing approach."

Singh said the issue was also discussed with the Finance Ministry as the 2003 Cabinet decision required the pricing and allocation of spectrum to be settled between the finance and telecom ministries. Though the Finance Ministry initially asked for a high price for 2G spectrum, after many discussions, it agreed with the Telecom Ministry's view that they would have to live with the then prevalent system," especially with regard to the amount of spectrum built and embedded in the licence agreement."

"So this is the background why I did not proceed with the matter of spectrum allocation....If the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Telecom agree and...also TRAI and Telecom Commission....were of the same view, I did not think it was right to insist that auction was the right way," the prime minister clarified. On sale of spectrum by some companies after being allocated the same, Mr Singh said he was not aware of their motives.

"I do not know....what was the motivation of the people who got spectrum but I do know that as far as the basic policy is concerned, I thought that was then the prevailing practice and Raja was continuing that policy.

"As far as who gets licence, the first-come-first-serve policy, how it is implemented, that was never discussed with me, licences were not a matter which ever got referred to me or the Cabinet that was a decision exclusively of the telecom minister.

- Economic Times

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Indian tycoons to face telecom probe panel

Indian tycoons Ratan Tata and Anil Ambani will appear before a parliamentary committee investigating a multi-billion dollar telecom scandal, their companies have confirmed.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is probing alleged corruption in the sale of 2G phone licences.

An official audit claimed the government may have lost as much as $39bn (£24bn) in revenues.

The committee will question the pair on 4 and 5 April respectively.

Telecom services is one of India's fastest growing and lucrative industries.

Some of India's biggest companies have been accused of flouting rules in order to obtain licences in their attempts to enter the sector.

A spokesperson for Tata Sons, the holding company for Tata Teleservices, India's fifth-largest phone company, said the group will co-operate with the probe.

"Mr R N Tata has expressed his willingness to appear before that PAC of April 4th in connection with the recent developments in the telecom sector, including the allocation of 2G and 3G spectrum," he said.

Anil Ambani is the chairman of Reliance Communications, India's second-largest telecom carrier. He has already been questioned as a part of the probe.

Mr Ambani appeared before the committee last month, a visit that was described as voluntary by the company.

Reliance ADA group, the parent group of Reliance Communications, issued a statement confirming that Mr Ambani will be appearing before the committee again.

"Anil Ambani welcomes the opportunity to appear before (the) PAC", it said.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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Anil’s Reliance charged,30000cr lost, says CBI


New Delhi, April 2: The CBI today filed charges against A. Raja and eight others as well as three telecom companies, including Reliance Telecom, in connection with the 2G spectrum scam.

The CBI has pegged the loss from the scam to the exchequer at30,984.50 crore because of fraudulent allotment of 2G licences.

Besides naming the four earlier accused — Raja, his personal assistant R.K. Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura and Shahid Usman Balwa — the CBI has indicted Vinod Goenka, Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara, Hari Nayar and Sanjay Chandra.

Unitech Wireless and Swan Telecom have also been named in the agency’s first chargesheet along with Reliance Telecom.

The comptroller and auditor general had estimated a presumptive loss upto1.76 lakh crore in the issuance of 2G spectrum licences. The revelation of the scam had pushed the UPA government to the wall and paralysed Parliament.

Raja, Behura, Chandolia and Balwa had been booked for criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery under the IPC and under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.

The same charges also apply to Goenka, director of Swan Telecom, Chandra, the managing director, Unitech Ltd, Doshi, the group managing director of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani (ADA) Group, Surendra Pipara, group president of Reliance ADA, Hari Nair, senior vice-president of Reliance ADA.

The chargesheet, running into about 80,000 pages, was carried in seven aluminium trunks before the judge .P. Saini in the special designated court, constituted recently for speedy trial.

In January 2008, Raja had granted licences to nine firms — Datacom (now Videcon Telecom), Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB), Unitech Wireless (now Uninor), Loop Telecom, STel, Allianz, Idea, Aircel and Spice.

The agency first registered a case against unknown officials of the department of telecommunication in October 2009. They swung into action only after being rapped by the Supreme Court for delaying the investigation.

During the probe several top executives of telecom companies including Reliance Communications, Tata Infrastructure, Essar, Loop Telecom, Spice, Aircel and others were grilled.

The agency had also questioned Anil Ambani as his company once held shares in Swan Telecom.

Radia mention

Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia and attorney-general G.E. Vahanvati are among the 125 prosecution witnesses named in the chargesheet.

Vahanvati figures as witness number 32 in the CBI chargesheet while Radia is placed 44th on the list.

Tata & Spice ‘hit’

The CBI has claimed that Tata Tele Services and Spice Communication were hit hard by the collusion of Raja and some industrialists in the allocation of 2G spectrum, PTI reports.

The chargesheet said Tata Tele Services and Spice Communications, which had priority over Swan Telecom in terms of the dual technology approvals, were “unreasonably deprived” spectrum allocation for the Delhi region.

Source: http://www.telegraphindia.com/1110403/jsp/nation/story_13803297.jsp

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Another telecom license under CVC scanner

In yet another instance of a decision taken by the NDA regime coming under scrutiny, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has begun an inquiry into issuance of ILD licence to Data Access in 2002 which was later cancelled after the company failed to pay dues of over Rs 219 crore to BSNL and DoT.

The CVC has decided to conduct an inquiry on allegations pertaining to issuance of International Long Distance Licence (ILD) to Data Access India by the telecom ministry and has sent 25 questions to the DoT pertaining to the company and the circumstances under which the licence was issued.

According to an internal communication, the CVC has also asked whether the networth of Data Access was assessed at the time of grant of ILD licence by DoT and whether it is a fact that company’s networth had become negative in 2002 itself.

The company, promoted by Siddhartha Ray, had also planned to go for public issue and non-compliance of licence was not disclosed in draft prospectus and the market regulator SEBI had forced the company to withdraw its public issue as liabilities were understated and income overstated.

The company was granted ILD licence on March 27, 2002 for establishing, maintaining a working telegraphs within the scope of licence. The company had received the licence after paying Rs 25 crore as entry fee and furnishing a bank guarantee for another Rs 25 crore.

In 2004, the company had initiated the process to float an initial public offer in order to raise upto Rs 100 crore, which was later on called off in the absence of some regulatory clearance from market regulator SEBI.

The Telecom Ministry in 2005 had suspended the ILD licence of Data Access for non-payment of over Rs 200 crore due to the Department of Telecom (DoT) and other operators like BSNL and MTNL.

“Non-payment of more than Rs 200 crore affects the viability of other operators and is against proper conduct of Telegraph and violation of clauses of the licence. Data Access has failed to perform obligation under licence including timely payment of fee and other charges due to the licensor,” the Ministry of Communication and IT had said in the suspension order.

The CVC inquiry comes within days of the telecom ministry expressing concerns over the handling of disinvestment of erstwhile Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL), now Tata Communications, by the NDA government especially with regard to huge land bank associated with the firm.

source :: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article1706584.ece

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2G scam: DB Realty, Unitech, Reliance Comm fall as court rejects bail pleas

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court on Wednesday rejected the bail plea of five corporate honchos including promoter of Etisalat DB, Sanjay Chandra, in connection with the 2G spectrum case.

The order came on the bail applications of Swan Telecom Director Vinod Goenka, Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra, and three top officials of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) - Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara. They are likely to be sent to jail.

The five executives, who were named in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chargesheet, were not arrested during the probe.

Shares in Unitech, the Indian joint ventures of Norway's Telenor and the UAE's Etisalat, closed 5.13 percent down, DB Realty closed 4.22 percent down and Reliance Communications shares closed down 1.99 percent.

The investigating agency had on April 15 sought the detention of five corporate executives

chargesheeted by it for their alleged role in the 2G spectrum scam, saying that they might abscond and impede the trial.

The CBI, which opposed their bail pleas, said that some of the key witnesses, belonging to the

corporate world, directly worked under them and the possibility of the accused winning them over

could not be ruled out.

The investigating agency had earlier issued summons to corporate leaders, who have not been arrested in connection with the scam.

Former Telecom Minister A Raja, former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura, Raja''s personal secretary R K Chandolia and Swan Telecom Promoter Shahid Usman Balwa are already in judicial custody and have been supplied with the copy of the chargesheet.

All the accused have been booked under sections 120( B ) (criminal conspiracy), 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a

forged document or electronic record), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of

property) and 109 (abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence, and where no

express provision is made for its punishment) of the Indian Penal Code.

Raja was forced to resign from the Union Cabinet last year after the Comptroller and Auditor

General of India (CAG) faulted him for undervaluing spectrum to favour companies who were largely ineligible for 2G spectrum, and added that the government had probably lost Rs.1.76 lakh crore in estimated revenue.

Via - Economic Times

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2G scam: 5 telecom honchos to spend night in 90-sqft prison cell

In sharp contrast to the lavish lifestyle of their spacious condominiums, five top honchos of telecom firms will spend their night in a 90 square feet Tihar prison cell after a special CBI court rejected their bail plea in the second-generation mobile telephony spectrum allocation scam.

Swan Telecom director Vinod Goenka, Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd managing director Sanjay Chandra, and three top officials of Reliance ADA Group -- Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair arrived at the jail this evening at around 6pm.

Sources said that all the honchos underwent medical examination and were sent to jail No 3. However, since the jail is already overcrowded, each the five corporate executives had to share cells with other inmates.

After Special Judge OP Saini rejected the bail pleas of the five corporate honchos and directed that they be sent to judicial custody, they moved the Delhi high court, challenging the trial court's refusal to grant them bail.

The bench decided to take up their appeal against the grant of bail tomorrow.

source :: http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_2g-scam-five-telecom-honchos-to-spend-night-in-90-sqft-prison-cell_1534217

Finally, I am happy that real culprits are sent to jail.

I was always skeptical that this case will close without catching real culprits(corporates) but instead framing all the charges on the scape-goat Raja.

At least this arrest brings little bit of hope that case is really closing in on true culprits.

Let us hope and pray that HC will not make comedy of the entire process by granting bail today.

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Kanimozhi, stepmother in new 2G scam chargesheet, to be filed by CBI on Monday.

Source : NDTV

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HC defers bail plea of 5 2G case accused

The Delhi high court on Thursday deferred the bail plea hearing of five corporate honchos, accused in 2G spectrum scam case and arrested on Wednesday by the Central Bureau of Investigation, till April 26. The five accused — Sanjay Chandra of Unitech Wireless, Vinod Goenka of DB Realty, Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara of Reliance ADAG will spend at least six days in the Tihar Jail. Former attorney-general Soli J. Sorabji, appearing for the accused, Gautam Doshi of Reliance ADAG, sought bail for his client and said, “Bail is the rule and jail is exception. The mere apprehension (of CBI) is not good enough as the ground to trample personal liberty of the accused.” Besides Mr Sorabji, a battery of senior defence lawyers, Mukul Rohatgi, K.T.S. Tulsi, Rajeev Nayar and others assailed the dismissal of the bail plea of the accused by the special CBI judge saying “He gravely erred in terming the case as of the highest magnitude as it is the punishment and not the amount involved that decides the same.” Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd managing director Sanjay Chandra and Group MD of Reliance ADAG Gautam Doshi, co-promoter of Swan Telecom Vinod Goenka and Reliance ADAG’s Surrender Pipara and Hari Nair, who were not arrested by the CBI during the investigation, were sent to jail on Wednesday. Initiating the argument, Mr Tulsi, appearing for Sanjay Chandra of Unitech, told Justice Bharihoke that in the chargesheet, there were no specific allegation against his client. After hearing the argument from the defence lawyers, Justice Ajit Bharihoke has asked the counsel for the CBI U.U. Lalit to present his arguments against grant of bail on next Tuesday.

source:: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/nation/north/hc-defers-bail-plea-5-2g-case-accused-222

Let us hope HC will reject the bail outright.

These are highly educated real criminals who clearly know what they were doing is absolutely unlawful.

These people are the financiers and directors of all that happened in this scam.

These are not beggars who have committed such acrimonious acts to save their life or food.

This bail rejection will show to India that our Judiciary is not money-inclined and natural justice can prevail.

Edited by kesav

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CBI names Kanimozhi a co-conspirator in 2G scam


CBI today named M Karunanidhi's daughter MP Kanimozhi a co-conspirator in the 2G scam. In the supplementary charge sheet filed today the agency also named Kalainagar TV MD Sharad Kumar and Cineyug and Kusegaon firms. M Karunanidhi's wife Dayaluammal did not figure in the chargesheet, however CBI will seek legal opinion on the matter. former telecom minister A Raja has been charged for accepting bribes.

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2G Scam: ED to Attach Properties of Errant Telecos

Outlook APR 27, 2011

The Enforcement Directorate today told the Supreme Court that property worth Rs 2,000 crore each will be attached against two companies which are involved in the 2G spectrum scam during the tenure of former telecom minister A Raja.

"Property worth Rs 2,000 crore has to be attached relating to these companies," senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for the ED, submitted before a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly.

Venugopal, who was reading the excerpts of the fresh status report of the ED submitted in a sealed cover, did not mention the names of the company but assured that attachment proceedings will be initiated soon and will be completed within two months.

He hinted that attachment orders will be issued shortly under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), against the two companies against whom the ED has so far registered the complaints.

"It will be done in two months time against the companies whose names have been mentioned in the complaints. We have to collect details of their properties as many of the companies keet benami properties," the senior advocate said when the bench asked how much time will the ED take to complete the investigation.

The ED in its status report said investigation was in progress regarding the involvement of five foreign companies in the 2G scam which are registered in Virgin Island.

On hearing this, the bench asked "what is the response of the CBI on it?"

Venugopal said till now the ED has not written about it to the RBI and future course of investigation will follow.

However, he said action has been taken and complaint has been registered for FEMA violation of Rs 4,000 crore which will be added on as the investigation will progress and attachment will start.

The ED gave details of various financial transaction connected with the scam and said that the company connected with Shahid Usman Balwa's D B Realty was involved in the movement of Rs 1,400 crore.

"The companies are connected with D B Realty. Funds started moving from a real estate company. Rs 1400 crore went from the top to the bottom and goes back to the original source," Venugopal said referring to the transaction of money among various companies after the grant of 2G licence.

Meanwhile, CBI also filed fresh status report about its probe and sought more time to complete the investigation relating to the allocation of spectrum during the period of 2001-07.

The bench appreciated the probe done by the CBI and ED and said they have done a "commendable job".

The ED in its complaint registered on April 9 had charged Swan Telecom with committing FEMA contraventions to the tune of Rs 3,608 crore.

It said that Swan Telecom issued 44.73 per cent shares to Dubai-based Etisalat and 5.27 per cent shares to Genex Exim as per agreement on September 23, 2009.

The ED had also alleged that Swan Telecom had disclosed that issue of equity to Genex Exim was under resident category but during investigations it was found that "it was an indirect foreign investment in Swan because funds into Genex were brought from Dubai".

CBI told the court that during the investigation it has become clear that rules were circumvented and huge amount by way bribery exchanged in the allocation of 2G spectrum.

It said that top officials of the telecom companies including their managing directors and share holders were "directly" involved in bribery.

While perusing the CBI's status report, the bench observed that there were some "revealing" information in it relating to a particular company whose officials are likely to be named in the charge sheet.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, on whose petition CBI probe was ordered in the 2G scam, said the agency in its first charge sheet named Swan Telecom and Reliance Telecom as accused in the case along with three top officers of later.

However, he said that CBI has not named Reliance Telecom's chairman Anil Ambani as an accused who has 50 per cent share in the company.

However, the Bench said, "This is for the special court (exclusively dealing with the 2G case) to consider."

Bhushan said CBI officers are doing a difficult job under tremendous pressure and "big fish" are not apprehended.

He said Swan Telecom was financed by the Reliance and the person who benefits is having 50 per cent share and is the chairman of the company.

Further, he said that Swan Telecom was financed by Reliance Telecom itself which was ineligible for 2G licence.

The Bench said since there is a special court to deal with other such issues and senior advocate U U Lalit has been appointed as special prosecutor in the case "there is a strong safeguard".

"We have gone through the progress of the investigation and officers of the CBI has done commendable job despite several constraints relating to resource, manpower and time constraint," the bench said.

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The 'flow' of200 crore to Kalaignar TV and back

To cover up Rs 200 crore ''illegal''gratification made to Kalaignar TV, agreements were executed after lodging of FIR in the 2G scam and money was channelled back to its source on A Raja's resignation as Telecom Minister, the CBI has claimed.

The agency has supported this contention on the basis of the statements of an accountant of DB Realty and Director of the Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd to establish that the money travelled between December 23, 2008 and August 7, 2009 from Shahid Balwa's firm to Kalaignar TV in which DMK MP Kanimozhi has stake.

The FIR in the scam was lodged on October 21, 2009 by the CBI against unknown persons of the Department of Telecom, and agreements for transfer of funds were entered on January 27, 2010.

In its second charge sheet, the CBI has said that Swan Telecom and Dynamix Realty Promoters- Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka, channelled Rs 200 crore through circuitous route, to DMK family-run Kalaignar TV and when Raja resigned and was questioned by the agency, the money was channelled back to DB Realty through the same route.

CBI has quoted the statements of Satish Agarwal, accountant of DB Realty and Mohomed Morani, director of Cineyug Film Pvt Ltd, who have been named as witnesses to buttress that money was paid as bribe by Swan Telecom to get favour for the grant of 2G licence.

Agarwal told CBI that "Dynamix Realty had given unsecured loans of Rs 209 crore to (Asif Balwa's) Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd from December 23, 2008 to August 11, 2009. No agreement was executed for this purpose."

"Sum of Rs 206 crore was transferred (further) from account of Kusegaon Fruits to account of (Karim Morani's) Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd during the period from December 23, 2008 to July, 2009," he said.

Morani in his statement to the CBI confirmed of receiving this Rs 206 crore and carried the money trail forward stating, "There was no written agreements for this (received Rs 206 crore)."

"I further state that Cineyug Films extended a loan of Rs 200 crore to Kalaignar TV Pvt Ltd during the period from December 23, 2008 to August 07, 2009," Morani said in his statement.

The two witnesses revealed that no agreements were executed for these transactions between Dynamix-Kusegaon and Kusegaon-Cineyug and it was after the CBI registered the FIR in the 2G spectrum scam, on October 21, 2009, that the agreements were executed between them showing the transaction as "unsecured loan".

Sources said that the Sebi could propose stringent actions against the erring bankers with regard to over-pricing, unnecessary hype and violations of a standard code of conduct and business ethic.

The matter holds significance in the backdrop of Sebi warning the merchant bankers against creating a big hype in the case of the last year's mega IPO of Coal India, which raised an estimated over Rs 15,000 crore through the country's biggest ever IPO that was heavily over-subscribed.

Although, the Coal India IPO was widely considered as a well-priced public offer, a number of other IPOs in past couple of years, especially by the private companies, have been criticised severely for being over-priced.

Besides the pricing of the offers, Sebi could also propose ways to discourage the bankers from quoting near-zero fees to get the mandate for managing the public offers, sources said.

Whenever Sebi comes across any offence on part of merchant bankers, it has been so far dealing with them on case-to-case basis and explanations have been sought.

However, there are no formulated guidelines on this matter and Sebi has decided to frame such regulations after coming across repeated violations on this front, the sources said.

Cineyug Films and Kalaignar TV, however, had a "share subscription and shareholders" agreement dated December 19, 2008.

Raja resigned on November 14, 2010, and was questioned by the CBI in December 2010 and the amount of Rs 200 crore was routed back from DMK's Kalaignar TV to Blawa's D B Realty between December 24, 2010 and February 28, 2011.

Morani told CBI that Kalaignar TV "refunded" with interest Rs 200 crore to Cineyug Films during December 24, 2010 and February 03, 2011, and during the same period Cineyug Films paid back with interest the same amount to Kusegaon Fruits.

Agarwal further told the CBI that Kusegaon also "repaid the loan" back to Dynamix Realty, during December 23, 2010 and February 28, 2011.

While the transactions between the DB Realty to Kusegaon Fruits and then to Cineyug Films was shown as "unsecured loan", the transaction between Cineyug Films and Kalaignar TV was shown as "share subscription" agreement, the two witnesses said.

Via : deccanherald

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2G scam probe: Corporates in Mauritius working overtime to cover tracks

PORT LOUIS: As Mauritius prepares to receive Indian investigators from CBI and ED, the corporate lobbies, especially those associated with the 2G scam, are working overtime to cover their tracks so that Indian sleuths do not have much access to the island's banking details.

Also, in the focus will be details of the meeting of senior Loop Telecom officials with Indian High Commissioner to Mauritius Madhusudan Ganapati who later informed the External Affairs Ministry that the two private sector telecom officials were enquiring about the Letters Rogatory sent by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate seeking details about the transactions made by them.

A joint Indian team of the CBI and ED would be visiting the African Island next week to follow the money trail in the 2G spectrum scam. With the news about their arrival approaching, sources in the Indian High Commission and officials of the Indian banks operating in this island say that the corporates have been bee-lining to ensure that no information was shared.

"Some of them were approaching the Mauritian government through back-channels exerting pressure for not sharing of the information," senior officials speaking on the condition of anonymity said.

The CBI is looking for share patterns of nearly a dozen companies after eyebrows were raised that all of them had a common address of a building in this capital city of Mauritius. The Indian team would be meeting various officials of the finance ministry, Registrar of Companies (RoC) and Mauritius offshore banking authority to know the details of the companies who had opened bank accounts and were pumping in money to various telecom companies in India.

As many as 10 different entities named in connection with the 2G scam have a common address - The Les Cascades Building on the Edith Cavell Street in Port Louis. Some of these companies were now approaching the Mauritian government's RoC and Mauritian Offshore Banking Authority, also located in the same building, with revised forms.

Mauritius-based front companies of foreign investors are often utilised as a route to avoid paying taxes in India. Investors utilise loopholes in the bilateral agreement on double taxation between the two countries to channel funds.

Recently during the visit of President Pratibha Patil, officials accompanying her had a discussion with their counterparts during which it was agreed to have a Joint Working Group to discuss the 28-year-old Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) treaty between the two countries.

There has been a growing demand from Finance Ministry to re-negotiate the 1983 tax treaty with Mauritius so that India could have access to banking details besides tax related information. The move was also aimed at preventing generation of black money and to stop re-routing of funds through Mauritius.

Re-negotiation includes specific provision of sharing of banking information and also an article on assistance in collection of taxes. Mauritius accounts for nearly 44% of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country. Security agencies have been raising concerns over use of the Mauritian route to pump in black money into India especially in the telecom and real estate sectors.

A study by the OECD, the global agency working on implementation of international standards on taxation and other matters, has named Mauritius among countries where laws do not meet global standards.

Via : Economictimes

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2G scam: Journalist offers bribe to ED official; scribe, Radia deny links

NEW DELHI: The Enforcement Directorate, an agency that probes moneylaundering and violations of rules governing use of foreign exchange , has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe an incident in which a journalist is alleged to have approached an officer seeking to intercede on behalf of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia , who has been questioned by investigating agencies probing the socalled 2G scam.

In a letter sent in November last year and marked secret, the Enforcement Directorate said the journalist, Upendra Rai , who is in a senior editorial position at Sahara News Network, had offered to "pay" an official of the directorate in return for the "favour" . The letter, the contents of which were described to ETreporters, was sent to the then CBI director Ashwani Kumar by the additional director of ED, RP Upadhyaya. It was sent with the approval of ED Director Arun Mathur.

In his response to questions from this paper, Rai denied approaching the ED on behalf of Radia. Vaishnavi, a PR agency owned by Radia, said it had no knowledge of any such event. The letter, dated November 25, alleges Rai sought "favours" on behalf of Radia from the ED official and indicated that he was "ready to pay 2 crore" for it.

Rai also allegedly told the ED official that he had known Radia for 12 years. Rai had sought an appointment with the official on the pretext of "furnishing some information" of use to the investigators probing the 2G scam , which refers to the allotment of telecom licences at below-market prices by former telecom minister A Raja.

CBI Carrying Out Investigation

The ED official - described in the alleged encounter outlined in the letter - politely declined the proposal and referred the matter to his boss Mathur, who in turn referred it to the CBI for "appropriate consideration and necessary action" . The official is not named in the letter. Mathur declined comment, as did a spokesperson for the CBI.

But another official in the ED told ET that the complaint against Rai had been sent again to the office of the current CBI director, AP Singh, a few days ago. The official, who did not wish to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the CBI is carrying out a probe.


Rai denied he had met an ED official on behalf of Radia and said these were "false, malicious" canards and "slanderous gossip" being spread by his "detractors" . "I have never approached any person/ authority in regard to any matter in subject to investigation before any authority , leave alone as regards the case in question. Any information in this regard in your possession or furnished to you is false, malicious and are canards and slanderous gossip spread by my detractors and by people inimically inclined towards me," Rai said in an emailed statement to ET.

source :: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/telecom/2g-scam-journalist-offers-bribe-to-ed-official-scribe-radia-deny-links/articleshow/8148785.cms

As we've seen from the start, the journalists like Barkha Dutt and Vir Sanghvi were burning midnight oil to fix A.Raja as telecom minister during government formation.

It can never be possible that they've worked without any financial favor from corporates.

Let us hope these shoddy journalists are brought to justice to clean up our muddy media.

Edited by kesav
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2G scam : Kanimozhi seeks bail, decision on arrest tomorrow

DMK MP Kanimozhi today moved a Delhi court for bail against arrest in the 2G case as her lawyer Ram Jethmalani sought to pass the blame on the scandal to former Telecom Minister A Raja, who is also a party leader.

After day-long arguments on the bail applications for her and Kalaignar TV Managing Director Sharad Kumar, the special court trying the scam adjourned the case for hearing till tomorrow morning when special prosecutor for CBI U U Lalit is expected to oppose freedom for them.

via : indianexpress

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ED questions ex-SpiceJet promoter in 2G case

New Delhi : Enforcement Directorate has questioned former promoter of SpiceJet Ajay Singh in connection with the 2G scam investigations. The agency is probing Singh's link with Allianz Infratech which is suspected be a front of the DB Group.

ED sources said Singh was questioned for two days earlier this week. Singh's detailed statement was recorded and further investigations were on, sources said. Singh had exited as the founding director from the low cost airline last year.

Confirming that he had given his statement to ED, Singh said, "I have cooperated with the agency. I don't have anything to hide because my company (Allianz Infratech) did not get spectrum at all."

Agency sources claimed that Singh's questioning had helped to figure out the fund flow between Etisalat DB Telecom and Allianz Infratech. Sources said the timing of the sale of stakes of Allianz Infratech to DB Telecom before UAS licences were awarded was of interest to them.

The investigations have also revealed that Allianz Infratech was found to be ineligible for UAS licences.

The ED investigation has revealed that Etisalat DB Telecom acquired Allianz Infratech (UAS licence allottee for Bihar and MP) for Rs 109.5 crore. The agency is also probing the payment pattern of the deal in which Rs 106.84 was paid to Telespice Wireless Pvt Ltd by DB Tele Wimax Pvt Ltd on behalf of M/s Swan Telecom for purchase of shares of Allianz Infratech.

via : Times of India

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Jail for Kanimozhi as court rejects bail plea

NEW DELHI: DMK MP Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV chief Sharad Kumar, named as co-conspirators in the 2G spectrum scam, were on Friday taken into custody after a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court rejected their bail pleas.

CBI special judge O.P. Saini said: "Both the bail applications (of Kanimozhi and Sharad Kumar) are dismissed. As per the court orders, they are to be taken into custody."

Kanimozhi, who was accompanied in court by her husband Aravindan and was clad in an orange salwar-kurta, tried to regain her composure after the judgment was pronounced and later told her supporters that "she was expecting the decision".

Her security guard burst into tears as the judge announced his decision.

The CBI had named Kanimozhi, daughter of DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, and Sharad Kumar as co-conspirators in its April 25 supplementary chargesheet after it traced an illegal money trail of Rs.214 crore in the scam.

As the judge pronounced the verdict, co-accused -- and former communications minister -- A. Raja looked shocked. The DMK MP is already in jail in connection with the case, related to irregularities in the allocation of airwaves to telecom companies that caused huge losses to the exchequer.

She has been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act for taking bribe through Kalaignar TV -- a channel run by DMK -- in which a sum of Rs 200 crore was routed from Shahid Usman Balwa's firm DB Realty.

Kanimozhi and Kumar had appeared in court in the morning and were told that the decision on their bail pleas would be made after 1 pm. The hearing was then adjourned till 2.30 pm.

Also present in the courtroom on Friday were former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa, Raja's aide R.K. Chandolia, Vinod Goenka of Swan Telecom and Sanjay Chandra of Unitech.

Two officials of ADAG, Gautam Doshi and Hari Nair, who were also named in the charge sheet, were present in the courtroom.

Cineyug Film's Karim Morani was not present as he got exemption from personal appearance due to his ill health, while Surendra Pipara of Reliance, who is in judicial custody, was also not present in the court as he is undergoing treatment for a heart problem at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Kalaignar TV channel had earlier stated that the Rs.214 crore it got was a loan and paid back with interest.

Via : Times of India

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Raja on TIME’s List of Top Power Abuses

Former Indian telecom minister A. Raja’s alleged lowball pricing of mobile phone spectrum at the behest of his corporate pals is arguably India’s biggest corruption scandal. But should it really be considered among the top all-time abuses of power in the world?


TIME magazine has a new list of the “Top 10 Abuses of Power” and it puts Mr. Raja’s so-called 2G scam at No. 2, just behind the “Watergate” scandal that shook American politics and brought down President Richard Nixon in 1974.

We at India Real Time think that is a big stretch and is an example of the hyperbole that often surrounds the “2G” spectrum case. The dodgy Indian spectrum sale of 2008 led to several billion dollars in lost potential revenue for the Indian treasury, according to Indian investigators. No one really knows how much the spectrum would have been worth in an auction, and neither investigators nor the media has yet been able to show how much bribe money was paid out to Mr. Raja or his associates.

Moreover, it may be a bit early to add Mr. Raja to such a list, given that India’s legal system has yet to render its verdict on him. Mr. Raja, who denies wrongdoing, is facing trial on criminal charges of conspiracy, cheating and forgery.

We’re not minimizing the 2G case by any means. Taxpayers should be infuriated if lucrative public airwaves were dealt on the cheap to someone’s cronies. That is indeed a scandal. But if we’re talking about the Global Hall of Infamy here, one would think TIME would include on the list – well ahead of Mr. Raja – the despots and strongmen of Asia, Africa and the Middle East who have verifiably looted their nations and lined their pockets with cash while taking care of their families too.

Nowhere on the list, for example, is Indonesia’s former President Suharto, who Transparency International has said misappropriated between $15 billion to $35 billion in state funds during his 32-year rein. This wasn’t lost potential state revenue. These were assets directly controlled by Suharto and his family. (Ironically, it was TIME whose 1999 article helped expose the staggering scale of the Suharto family’s fortune in “cash, property, art, jewelry and jets.”

Also not making the cut in TIME’s list: Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines and Mobutu Sese Soko, who amassed about $5 billion in wealth over three decades in Zaire (modern-day Congo), according to Transparency.

It’s not even clear that Mr. Raja’s funny business with frequencies is the worst-ever abuse of power in India. Some Indians might nominate former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s imposition of emergency rule from 1975 to 1977, when the government halted elections, suspended civil liberties and cracked down on political opposition.

It’s hard to tell what TIME’s criteria were for this list. It apparently isn’t limited to government officials, since No. 3 is Dennis Kozlowski and his weirdly opulent lifestyle as CEO of Tyco (when he used corporate funds for such lavish items as a $6,000 shower curtain). There are so many corporate chieftains who have broken trust with shareholders or investors – from the management of Enron to Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme – that it’s hard to know why Mr. Kozlowski was singled out.

In the realm of corruption, the Chinese food safety tsar who took bribes to let substandard products into the market is No. 9. There are also several sex scandals on the list, including Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi’s “bunga bunga” parties and his alleged payment for sex to an under-aged Moroccan woman; and the coerced concubines of North Korean despot and “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il. There’s no mention of what is arguably the biggest U.S. sex scandal, former President Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.

If this is supposed to be a ranking of abuses of power, sex scandals would seem relatively minor compared to dictators who have committed genocides on their populations or otherwise used the state’s might to attack political opposition. There are numerous such examples. We assume that TIME decided human rights abuses shouldn’t be factored into this particular list.

Regardless, it is hard to see how the loss of potential revenue – even a huge amount – from the sale of mobile phone frequencies in India qualifies as the second-worst abuse of power in the world. Not to minimize what Mr. Raja is accused of but sadly there have been much worse abuses of power than that.

Via : Wall Street Journal

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Jail for Kanimozhi as court rejects bail plea

Her security guard burst into tears as the judge announced his decision.

Is that because he too will be jailed with her, as her bodyguard??? rofl_200.gif

Nuts... pleasantry.gif

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Jail for Kanimozhi as court rejects bail plea

As the judge pronounced the verdict, co-accused -- and former communications minister -- A. Raja looked shocked. The DMK MP is already in jail in connection with the case, related to irregularities in the allocation of airwaves to telecom companies that caused huge losses to the exchequer.

Poor Raja must have been shocked that now if Kanimozhi is also kept in Tihar, he may have to suffer her POETRY recitals from close quarters... Read.gif

The mere thought of that might have made him extremely wary.. crazy1.gif

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