2G: RCom denies using Swan Telecom as a front to get licence

Written by: Biswajeet Panda
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Anil Ambani
New Delhi, Aug 10: Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Telecom Ltd, on Aug 10 told a Delhi court that it did not have any substantial equity in Swan Telecom at the time of grant of spectrum licences. Reliance Telecom Ltd is one of the accused firms in the 2G Spectrum scandal.

The Reliance Telecom counsel told Special CBI judge, "No criminal case is made out against Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) as it held only 9.9 per cent equity in Swan Telecom when the latter was granted spectrum licences."

It can be recalled that the CBI, in its chargesheet, has alleged that the Anil Ambani promoted company integrated Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL) as its front company to elude the then existing telecom policy which barred existing players from getting new licences in the same circle.

The CBI has also said that was the Telecom company was ineligible to get the spectrum as the Department of Telecom (DoT) had debarred the CDMA player from entering into GSM telephony sector.

The defence lawyer argued, "So far as the guidelines (of DoT) are concerned, they only prohibited an existing telecom company from holding shares in excess of 10 per cent in another telecom company. We held 9.9 per cent stake in Swan telecom and no case is made out against us."

Reliance Telecom's counsel argued, "STPL cannot be held as an associate firm of RTL as the latter did not have any say in deciding the board members of STPL."

The CBI, in its first charge sheet, had alleged that top Reliance ADAG officials viz. Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara conspired with former telecom minister A Raja and others.

It said, "The accused persons structured the holding of Swan in a manner that only 9.9 per cent equity was held by RTL and rest 90.1 per cent was shown as held by Tiger Traders Pvt Ltd, although the entire company was held by the Reliance ADA Group of companies through the funds raised from RTL."

The investigating agency accused RTL and its officials of creating shell firms like Swan Telecom, Zebra Consultancy Services, Giraffe Consultancy Private Ltd and Parrot Consultants to create a web in which no company is a holding firm and the officials are the real masters.

The CBI said, "Accordingly, Reliance ADA Group withdrew its holding from Swan Telecom and the three accused transferred the control of Swan Telecom to co-accused Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka in order to facilitate them to cheat the DoT by getting UAS Licence in the name of Swan Telecom which was till October 18, 2007 ineligible for licence."

OneIndia News
(With PTI inputs)

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