STPL was Re­liance ADA Group com­pany: CBI to 2G case wit­ness

The Political and Business Daily - - NATION -

The CBI to­day grilled a Re­liance ADAG of­fi­cial be­fore a Delhi court al­leg­ing that Swan Tele­com Pvt Ltd (STPL), an ac­cused firm fac­ing trial in the 2G spec­trum al­lo­ca­tion case, was one of the group com­pa­nies of Anil Am­bani-led en­ter­prise.

As­sis­tant Vice Pres­i­dent of Re­liance In­fra­struc­ture Ltd, Vikash Singhla, who was de­pos­ing as a de­fence wit­ness in the on­go­ing trial, re­futed the sug­ges­tions of the CBI pros­e­cu­tor.

"It is wrong to sug­gest that STPL was a Re­liance ADA group com­pany. How­ever, the com­pany (STPL) was ear­lier known as Swan Cap­i­tal (P) Lim­ited and at the time of its in­cor­po­ra­tion, it was Re­liance In­fra­struc­ture group com­pany," Singhla told spe­cial CBI judge O P Saini.

Dur­ing his cros­sex­am­i­na­tion by CBI pros­e­cu­tor, the court also warned Singhla that ac­tion shall be ini­ti­ated against him ac­cord­ing to law if he did not an­swer the ques­tions prop­erly.

"The wit­ness (Singhla) is not an­swer­ing the ques­tion, de­spite the ques­tion be­ing re­peated to him sev­eral times, both in Hindi and English. He is ad­vised to re­ply to the ques­tion, fail­ing which ac­tion shall be ini­ti­ated against him, as per law," the court ob­served.

How­ever, at the fag end of record­ing of his state­ment, Singhla told the judge that the ob­ser­va­tion recorded against him be deleted as he was not with­hold­ing the re­ply but was just try­ing to give an ex­pla­na­tion due to which he took some time to re­spond to the query.

His sub­mis­sion was op­posed by the CBI pros­e­cu­tor.

The CBI, in its charge sheet, had al­leged that Re­liance ADAG firm Re­liance Tele­com Ltd (RTL) had used STPL, an in­el­i­gi­ble com­pany, as its front com­pany to get 2G spec­trum li­cences and the costly ra­dio waves.

Three top ex­ec­u­tives of Re­liance ADAG -- Gau­tam Doshi, Suren­dra Pi­para and Hari Nair -- are fac­ing trial in the case along with for­mer Tele­com Min­is­ter A Raja, STPL pro­mot­ers Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and oth­ers.

STPL and Re­liance Tele­com Ltd are also ac­cused in the case.

Dur­ing the record­ing of state­ment, Singhla de­nied the sug­ges­tions of CBI pros­e­cu­tor that Swan Cap­i­tal (P) Lim­ited, which later changed its name to STPL in mid-Fe­bru­ary 2007, had re­mained a Re­liance ADAG firm till mid-Oc­to­ber 2007.

He also de­nied that he, Hari Nair and oth­ers were aware that STPL was a Re­liance ADAG firm till mid-Oc­to­ber 2007.

For­mer Tele­com Sec­re­tary Sid­dhartha Be­hura, DMK MP Kan­i­mozhi, Raja's for­mer pri­vate sec­re­tary RK Chan­do­lia and Unitech Ltd MD San­jay Chan­dra are also fac­ing trial in the case.

Be­sides them, Bol­ly­wood pro­ducer Karim Mo­rani, Kalaig­nar TV Man­ag­ing Direc­tor Sharad Ku­mar and Di­rec­tors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegeta­bles Pvt Ltd, Asif Balwa and Ra­jiv Agar­wal, are also fac­ing trial in the case.

The court had on Oc­to­ber 22, 2011 framed charges against them un­der var­i­ous pro­vi­sions of the IPC and the Pre­ven­tion of Cor­rup­tion Act deal­ing with of­fences of crim­i­nal con­spir­acy, cheat­ing, forgery, fak­ing doc­u­ments, abus­ing of­fi­cial po­si­tion, crim­i­nal mis­con­duct by pub­lic ser­vant and tak­ing bribe.

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