Prosecution concludes arguments in 2G spectrum case

July 23rd, 2011 - 9:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) Paving the way for the defence to start arguments in the second generation (2G) phone spectrum case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Saturday concluded its arguments against the 14 accused, including former communications minister A. Raja.

The CBI charged the 14 accused and three companies of causing a loss of Rs.30,984 crore to the exchequer by selling the scarce resource, also called radio frequency that helps carry telecom signals, to private players cheap.

The accused include former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura and Raja’s personal aide R.K. Chandolia.

The accused also include DMK MP Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV’s chief Sharad Kumar, Cineyug’s Karim Morani, Swan Telecom’s Shahid Usman Balwa, his cousin Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal, who are directors of Kusegaon, and Unitech Wireless’s Sanjay Chandra.

The other accused are Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara of the Reliance Group, and Vinod Goenka of Swan Telecom. In addition, the three companies are DB Realty, Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireles.

Initiating the arguments Saturday, Public Prosecutor U.U. Lalit said Unitech Wireless was ineligible for spectrum as the company did not have the necessary amendments in its memorandum and articles of association to enter the telecom business.

Alleging that undue favours were extended to Swan Telecom, Lalit said the CBI has enough evidence to prove that DB Realty had paid around Rs.200 crore to Kalaignar TV, routing the money through Kusegaon Fruits and Cineyug Films.

“This was not a genuine business transaction but in the nature of illegal gratification paid in lieu of licences, valuable spectrum and other undue benefits given by accused public servants to Swan Telecom,” Lalit said.

“The undue haste shown in awarding licences to Swan Telecom and deliberate deletion of the last sentence in the draft press release, after being approved by then solicitor general, amply indicate the role of Behura in the case,” the prosecutor added.

He said Dynamix Realty also owns Swan Telecom and the fund transfer was facilitated by Karim Morani, Sharad Kumar and Kanimozhi through their companies, he said.

The first set of charges filed in the case April 2 had named Raja, eight others and the three telecom companies as co-conspirators. The supplementary charges April 22 had named all the other accused.

The accused have been charged under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, including cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.

–Indo-asian News Service
ras/rah/vt

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