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CBI gets representation on Essar owners

Special Correspondent

Most of these were “good character” certificates: CBI sources


Former Chief Justice, ex-Solicitor General among those who gave legal opinion

Essar allegedly used Loop Telecom as a front to acquire extra licences


NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation, probing the 2G spectrum allocation scam, has received representation from various eminent persons, including a former Chief Justice of India and a former Solicitor-General of India, who have given their views about the Ruias, owners of the Essar business conglomerate.

The Essar Group has been linked with Loop Telecom, which got licences in 21 circles in January 2008.

The CBI had, in February, questioned Essar Group CEO Prashant Ruia in connection with the company's alleged association with Loop Telecom, which had come under the CBI scanner in 2009.

Sources in the CBI said on Tuesday that the representations were mainly in the nature of giving a “good character” certificate to the Ruias, but said nothing specifically pertaining to the 2G spectrum case and the two charge sheets filed by the CBI.

The Ruias allegedly used Loop Telecom — in 2008 when A. Raja was the Telecom Minister — as a front to acquire more licences and spectrum than legally permitted.

Mr. Raja, a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader charge-sheeted in the 2G spectrum case, is lodged in the Tihar Central Jail here.

Essar has claimed that its stake in Loop Telecom at the time of application of 2G licences was only 2.15 per cent, which later came down to 1.5 per cent.

The sources said the Ruias had sought legal opinion from the former Chief Justice of India Justice, V.N. Khare, and the former Solicitor-General, Harish Salve.

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