2G spectrum: CBI quizzes Essar Group CEO

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 17 (PTI) Continuing with its probe intothe 2G scam, the CBI today questioned Essar Group CEO PrashantRuia in connection with the alleged role of the company withLoop Telecom which got licences in 21 circles in January 2008.

His questioning comes a day after ADAG Chairman AnilAmbani was called to the CBI in connection with its probe intothe 2G scam as the agency has to inform the Supreme Court byMarch 1 about the beneficiaries in the case.

According to official sources, Ruia was quizzed aboutthe alleged association of Essar with Loop Telecom which cameunder scanner in the CBI case registered in October 2009.

The Essar CEO was called amid allegations that LoopTelecom acted as a front company for Essar which has nearly 33per cent stake in Vodafone-Essar joint venture.

If the allegation were found to be true, it would makeLoop Telecom ineligible to get telecom licences.

As per the guidelines, the threshold of cross-holding isbelow 10 per cent.

"Essar in is full compliance with DoT licence norms andall other applicable laws. As and when any information issought Essar will provide the same to the authorities," anEssar spokesperson said.

According to the CAG report, Shipping Stop Dot Com(India) Private Limited (later on changed to Loop TelecomPrivate Limited) submitted its applications for grant of UASlicences for 21 service areas on September 3, 2007 to the DoT.

However, the company changed the main object clauses inits Memorandum of Association (MOA) of Article of Association(AOA) to include the telecom sector to meet the eligibilitycriteria only on September 28, 2007 only.

CAG had said the submission of altered MOA suppressingthe fact of non-registration of alterations in the main objectclause of MOA/AOA on the date of application was also in thenature of a fraudulent act with the intention of fulfillingthe eligibility criterion prescribed for UAS licences,

Loop Telecom also allegedly made a patently falseclaim of the paid-up capital of Rs 130.65 crore through theirCompany Secretary V V Chakradeo while submitting theirapplications for grant of UAS licences for 21 service areas onSeptember 3, 2007 to the DoT.

The CAG found the same fictitious with a malafideintention to secure the UAS licences.

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