Not violated any license norms with Swan stake: RCom

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New Delhi, Feb 13 (PTI) Under the scanner for its allegedassociation with Swan Telecom, Anil Ambani group firm RelianceCommunications today said it only held 9.9 per cent equityshare capital in the firm at the time of applying for 2Glicences and asserted that it did not violate any norms.

The company also said it was in full compliance with allapplicable DoT guidelines, rules and regulations.

Reliance Telecom held only 9.9 per cent of the equityshare capital of Swan Telecom at the time of filing therelevant licence application in March, 2007, RelianceCommunications Wireless Business CEO Syed Safawi said in astatement.

This shareholding was fully disclosed at inception andthis information has always been in the public domain, headded.

The company''s statement comes within days of the CBIquestioning officials of ADAG firms in relation to 2G spectrumallotment in 2008 by former Telecom Minister A Raja.

Government auditor CAG had also alleged that Swan Telecomacted as front for ADAG to get licence and spectrum in severalcircles. Swan Telecom later inducted foreign partner Etisalat,which acquired a 45 per cent stake by way of fresh equity forabout USD 900 million.

The CBI has already arrested Swan Telecom''s promoter,Shahid Balwa, for his alleged involvement in the 2G spectrumscam of 2008 and his interrogation is under way.

"Neither Reliance Telecom, nor RCom, nor any Reliance ADAGroup individual, company or affiliate is a beneficiary of, orhas any connection with, any of the licenses issued, orspectrum granted to old and new 2G operators in January,2008," Safawi said.

In the statement, RCom accused its competitors andcorporate rivals in the telecom industry for putting up "asmokescreen and cover their own unprecedented irregularitiesover the past decade and thereby protect their industry marketshares built through manipulation of the policy regime andfavouritism in connivance with certain DoT officials of therelevant time."

With regard to issuance of dual technology licences byRaja to Reliance Communications, the group said itsapplication that had been pending from February, 2006, formore than 18 months, was on identical terms and involved thepayment of identical fees as three other companies -- the Tatagroup''s Tata Teleservices, Himachal Futuristic Communicationsand Shyam Telecom (now known as Sistema) -- and there isnothing special or untoward in the same. .

"The grant of dual technology approval to RCom, Tata Teleservices and the two other companies was after due processof public consultation by TRAI, recommendations by TRAI toDoT and acceptance of the same by the DoT/Government ofIndia," Safawi said.

The grant of dual technology approval to RCom in October,2007, has been upheld by the Delhi High Court by a judgementin August, 2008, and by the Telecom Tribunal, TDSAT, by anorder in March, 2009.

The CAG had pointed out that the DoT favoured RCom injumping the queue for grant of GSM spectrum ahead of others.

Over the past several weeks, as part of investigationspursuant to the Supreme Court''s orders, the CBI is reportedlyexamining a large number of telecom firms and their officials,from across the entire telecom industry in relation to variousmatters for the years 2001 to 2008.

"... The investigations by CBI and other authorities areby no means specific to RCOM executives and instead, havealready reportedly covered more than 50 people from across alarge number of telecom operators," Safawi added.

As part of this process, CBI is continuing itsexamination of certain employees of Reliance ADA Group, aswell as all other telecom operators, who were handling thesematters at the relevant time.

"Mr Hari Nair of our group was Company Secretary of SwanTelecom for a few months while Reliance Telecom held a 9.9 percent equity stake in that company, but that shareholding wassold and he ceased to hold that post, well before a licencewas granted to Swan Telecom in January, 2008," RCom clarified.

"We are fully cooperating with the authorities in thisregard and will continue to extend all assistance as requiredto enable them to complete their investigations, includingattendance of concerned directors and executives and providingrelevant information," Reliance statement said.

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