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ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani leaves the CBI headquarters in New Delhi on Wednesday.
NEW DELHI: Reliance Communications (RCom) head Anil Ambani on Wednesday appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the agency's probe into the 2G spectrum scam.
Mr. Ambani was present at the CBI headquarters here for nearly two hours. He was asked about certain documents pertaining to Swan Telecom of the DB Realty group, whose promoter Shahid Usman Balwa is in CBI custody.
Sources in the CBI said Mr. Ambani was asked to appear before the investigating agency as RCom was one of the beneficiaries of the 2G scam and the CBI was questioning senior functionaries of all new operators who got licences.
However, a statement issued by RCom's parent concern Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) said Mr. Ambani was not summoned and that he merely met CBI officials, during a weekly visit to Delhi, to clarify on “ongoing issues.”
The statement said, “Neither Reliance Telecom, nor RCom, nor any Reliance ADA Group individual, company or affiliate held even a single share in Swan Telecom Ltd., at the time of grant of the 2G licence to them in January 2008, or at any time thereafter. Neither Reliance Telecom, nor RCom, nor any Reliance ADA Group individual, company or affiliate has obtained any monetary gain or other benefit, directly or indirectly, from the grant of 2G licence to Swan Telecom in January 2008.”
However, the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India report, “Issue of Licences and Allocation of 2G Spectrum,” had clearly mentioned that Swan Telecom, which got 2G licences, appeared to be acting as a front company for Reliance Telecom, a wholly owned subsidiary of RCom. It also said that it was evident that at the time of applying for Unified Access Service (UAS) licences, the equity stakes of Reliance Telecom Ltd. in Swan Telecom was 10.71 per cent, which was against the prescribed norms.
The report said Swan Telecom Private Limited, while applying for UAS licences in 13 service areas, was “acting as a front company on behalf of RTL and their application was in effect against the intent and spirit of the UAS licensing guidelines.”
RCom is also under the CBI scanner for allegedly deriving undue benefits in dual technology. Three companies — RCom for 20 service areas, Shyam Telelink for the Rajasthan service area and HFCL Infotel for the Punjab service area — had applied for permission for using GSM technology in 2006.
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