CBI quizzes top officials of telecom companies

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 15 (PTI) CBI today questioned the topofficials of some telecom companies, including ManagingDirector of Unitech Sanjay Chandra, in connection with itsprobe into 2G scam and some of them were confronted witharrested former Telecom Minister A Raja.

The CBI headquarters here virtually turned into acorporate office with top brass of four companies -- Loop,S-Tel, Tata Realty and Unitech -- arriving for questioning bythe agency which registered a case against unnamed officialsof Department of Telecom and private companies for causing aloss of Rs 22,000 crore in allocation of Spectrum in 2007-08.

The day began with the questioning of Chief ExecutiveOfficer of Loop Telecom Sandeep Basu who was asked questionsabout some documents sized by CBI during searches. Loop hadgot licenses for 21 circles when the spectrum was issuedduring the first stint of Raja as Telecom Minister betweenSpetembet 2007-January 2008.

This was followed by the questioning of Chief FinancialOfficer Arun Mandhana and Chief Regulatory officer RajeevSikka of S-Tel, a company which was issued licenses in fivecircles during the same period.

Tata Realty Managing Director Sanjay Ubale and KishoreSalatore were also quizzed by CBI about the funding pattern inTata Tele services.

A Tata Realty spokesperson said "Tata Realty andInfrastructure Limited has not recieved any summons issued byCBI. They had sought some clarifications, which have beenprovided."

The questioning of the Unitech Managing Directorcontinued for several hours during which he was asked toexplain about off-loading of shares, CBI sources said.

Unitech is the only company after Swan Telecom which hasbeen named by CBI in the FIR filed on October 21, 2009.

Even as Chandra was being questioned, Unitech issued astatement in his name saying "Unitech has co-operated with allinvestigating agencies from the very beginning, as we havenothing to hide.

"Our officers have provided all records for examinationand clarified all issues raised by them from time to time.

Going forward, we will continue to assist in the same spirit."

The charges against Unitech, according to the CBI''s FIR,was that it offlaoded 60 per cent of its shares to Telenor, aNorway-based telecom company, and earned a profit of 267 percent even before the service roll-out.

"M/s Unitech was alloted UAS licences for 22 cricles forRs 1658 crore. It offloaded its 60 per cent of shares in thelicences to Telenor of Norway for Rs 6100 crore even beforethe roll-out," the FIR said.

According to the FIR, "estimated loss to the governemntby grant of licences to these two companies (Swan and Unitech)alone comes to Rs 7,105 crore. On pro-rata basis, theestimated loss for all the 122 circles is more than Rs22,000 crore." PTI SKL SKB

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