2G: Court summons Anil, Tina Ambani as witness

Anil Ambani
New Delhi, May 31: A Delhi court on May 30 issued notices to all the accused in the 2G spectrum case seeking their response on July 3 on a plea by the CBI seeking to call 17 more prosecution witnesses including Reliance ADA Group Chairman Anil Ambani and his wife Tina Ambani.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini issued notices after Special Public Prosecutor U U Lalit told the court that their testimonies are required to be recorded "to arrive at the truth".

"Issue notices to the accused persons for July 3," the judge said, adding that he would decide on July 3 as to whether it would seek a reply from the accused on a separate CBI plea seeking to recall Department of Telecommunications (DoT) official Nitin Jain as a witness in the case.

During the hearing, Lalit told the court that these witnesses are required to be called for recording of their statements to ascertain the truth. He told the court that some documents regarding transaction of money have been received from the banks and these witnesses are required to be examined in that context.

Seeking to call Anil Ambani as a witness in the case, Lalit said that being the head of Reliance ADAG, his testimony is required regarding transaction of money between his various alleged companies.

"Unless and until we have this part (about money transaction) coming from the top, I do not think the task will be complete," the prosecutor said.

Besides Anil and Tina Ambani, the CBI is seeking to call other witnesses including a former advisor to the TRAI, some bank officials and other CFSL experts.

Lalit told the court that the CBI had recorded Anil Ambani's statement under section 161 of the CrPC during the probe into the case but it was not placed before the court earlier as the Reliance ADAG Chairman was not arrayed as a prosecution witness in the case.

He sought the court's permission to place Ambani's statement before it today itself but the judge said that he will deal with the issue after going through the reply filed by the accused.

The CBI also moved an application seeking to recall prosecution witness Nitin Jain, whose statement has already been recorded saying that there "appears to be slight inconsistency" in his testimony regarding the cut off date.

The CBI's plea to call Anil Ambani as a witness assumes importance as three top Reliance ADAG executives - Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair - are accused in the case and were granted bail after spending nearly seven months in jail.

Besides the three top corporate honchos of the company, the CBI had on April 2, 2011 also charge sheeted Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) for its alleged complicity in the 2G spectrum case. The agency had alleged that RTL used Swan Telecom, an ineligible firm, as its front company to get licenses and the costly radio waves.

Swan Telecom and its promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka are also accused in the case and are on bail. "Swan, at the time of application, was an associate of RTL. Investigations have also disclosed that Tiger Trader Pvt Ltd, which held maturity stake in Swan telecom Pvt Ltd, was also an associate company of Reliance ADA Group. Both the companies had no business history and were activated solely for the purpose of applying for UAS licences in 13 telecom circles," the charge sheet in the case had said.

Group MD of RADAG Gautam Doshi, group President Surendra Pipara and senior vice president Hari Nair, along with the company, have been charge sheeted for entering into a criminal conspiracy to cheat the government by getting licenses in an illegal manner.

"Investigation has revealed that in Jan-Feb 2007 accused Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair in furtherance of their common intention to cheat the DoT, structured/created net worth of company Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, out of funds arranged from Reliance Telecom Ltd," the agency had said in the charge sheet.

"The accused persons structured the holding of Swan in a manner that only 9.9 per cent equity was held by Reliance telecom ltd (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," it had said.

The agency had said the top officials of RADAG were also involved in the day-to-day affairs of Swan and the other front firm Tiger Traders Pvt Ltd.


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