Videocon in soup over spectrum controversy

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Videocon
New Delhi, Feb 22: More and more skeletons seem to tumble out of the closet in the murky 2G spectrum scam. After top corporates had to face the music from investigative agencies, the spotlight is now on Videocon group Chairman, Venugopal Dhoot. He was summoned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) along with his brother and Rajya Sabha member, Rajkumar Dhoot, for his alleged involvement in the spectrum allocation controversy.

Both Venugopal and Rajkumar had to face grilling from the CBI for over seven hours and was questioned on how their share capital became Rs 150 crore from a meagre one lakh rupees, revealed official sources. The alteration in the share capital has raised quite a few eyebrows.

Videocon was one of the telecom companies who jumped into the spectrum bandwagon during the 2007-2008 period and was allocated 4.4 MHz spectrum in all circles except Delhi. The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in its report revealed that Datacom Solutions, which later changed to Videocon Telecommunications had portrayed false paid-up capital.

The report added that while Videocon had submitted its application for 22 licences on August 28, 2007, it had “made a false claim of the paid-up capital of Rs 150 crore through company secretary although documents attached with indicated that the authorised share capital of the company as Rs 1.00 lakh only.""

Since the key criteria in awarding the spectrum was not adhered to, ideally the application should have been rejected. A set amount of paid-up capital is a prerequisite before applying. The company had later submitted a correct version of the capital on Nov 27, 2007, and confessed that the old version was submitted along with the application unknowingly.

Videocon shares took a beating after the news broke out and the shares of Videocon Industries were down 1.03 per cent at Rs 191.50 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

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