CBI drags Tina Ambani in 2G case, lawyer calls it harassment

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New Delhi, July 16: CBI today told a Delhi court that deposition of Reliance ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani and his wife Tina Ambani is required in the 2G spectrum case as witnesses as the firm's officials, who were examined, have not given "clear-cut answers" as to who decided on behalf of their alleged shell companies regarding the radiowaves allocation.

CBI said although various witnesses of Reliance ADAG were examined during the ongoing trial, they have not given proper answers on various aspects, due to which they now want to examine Anil and Tina Ambani as prosecution witnesses.

Seeking answer still

"There are a number of witnesses from Reliance ADAG who have been examined. No one (witnesses) gave clear-cut answers as to who were the persons who took these decisions.

"There are seven facets of matters on which we do not have clear-cut answers and thus we want to examine Anil Ambani and Tina Ambani," Special public prosecutor U U Lalit said while arguing on CBI's plea seeking to summon the Ambanis and others as prosecution witnesses to "arrive at the truth" and for a "just decision" in the case.

During the arguments, Lalit said the court had on December 19 last year allowed CBI's plea and had summoned certain bank documents relating to the case and now they want to examine some of these witnesses to prove the same.

Regarding Ambanis, he said there are seven areas with respect to which CBI wants to examine them.

One clear statement enough, says CBI

He, however, said as Tina and Anil Ambani's statements would be on parallel grounds and if one would give clear answers, they may drop the second person.

"Whosoever comes first and gives the entire clear picture, we will straight away drop the second one," he told Special CBI Judge O P Saini who would continue hearing the arguments tomorrow, adding the probe agency is not doing any roving inquiry in the matter.

It is harassment, says lawyer

Opposing CBI's plea, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for one of the top Reliance ADAG executives facing trial in the case, said it should be dismissed as it has been filed with an idea to harass Anil and Tina Ambani.

"The idea is only to embarrass and harass them," he said adding a "just decision of the case means just for both the sides. CBI cannot fill up the lacunae."

Rohatgi argued CBI's move was really a case of "re-investigation" and it would be inappropriate to allow the plea at such a fag end of the trial when over 130 prosecution witnesses have already been examined.

"No reason is given in the application except using the phrase 'for a just decision'. There is no reason as to why they (CBI) have not woken up, if they have to, after the charges were framed," he said.

Rohatgi said Anil Ambani is the head of Reliance ADAG and if CBI wants to know from him about such basic things, then what was the probe agency was doing during the investigation.

tina-anil-ambani

Shocked by Tina's name: Lawyer

"I am amazed and shocked to see the name of Tina Ambani in the list....It is like hitting below the belt," he said.

During the hearing, Lalit told the court that out of the 17 persons whom they have named as witnesses in their plea, they are dropping four straight away and two others are being called for re-examination as they had been earlier examined during the trial.

He said the four whom CBI is dropping are Raj Pal, then advisor to TRAI, Gitesh Kale, a bank official, Afzal Lodhi, Company Secretary of Etisalat DB Telecom Pvt Ltd and CBI official D K Barik. Lalit referred to a single day transactions of October 19, 2007 of around Rs 997 crore among various entities of DB Group Company and Reliance ADAG companies, saying they need to ascertain the same by examining these witnesses who will also prove the supporting documents which CBI has procured from various banks.

He said being the head of Reliance ADA Group, Anil Ambani's testimony is necessary to the effect as to who was responsible for incorporation of these "shell" companies, including Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, facing trial in the case.

PTI

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