Swan investing: ‘Anil Ambani was at meet’

Reliance ADA Group's Anil Ambani had attended the meeting of Reliance Telecom Limited

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: February 16, 2012 3:27:37 am

A prosecution witness told the Special CBI court hearing the 2G spectrum scam case that Reliance ADA Group chairman Anil Ambani had attended the meeting of Reliance Telecom Limited (RTL) in which the company’s board noted that its investment in Swan Telecom Private Limited was a “long-term strategic investment”.

Sateesh Seth,non-executive director of RTL and a chartered accountant,on Tuesday told Special CBI Judge O P Saini that he,Ambani,S P Shukla and Gautam Doshi,an accused in the case,had attended the April 29,2007,board meeting of RTL.

The recording of Seth’s statement concluded on Wednesday.

Reliance ADAG executives Gautam Doshi,Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair are facing trial for their alleged roles in the case,apart from RTL itself.

Seth said that the RTL board had made the decision as the telecommunications industry involves a long gestation period. “In view of the nature of the industry in which STPL is engaged viz telecommunication,involving long gestation period,investment in the books of the company be stated at cost and no provision for diminution as long-term investment in STPL was required to be made,” he said. He said that as per the minutes of meeting of RTL board of directors held on January 30,2008,the board was informed about disinvestment of 1,07,91,000 equity shares of Rs 10 each of Swan Telecom.

During his deposition,when Seth said the disinvestment must have been done by the business team as the matter came up before the board only for noting,CBI prosecutor A K Singh said the witness was resiling from his previous statement. When asked by the court,he said that he was not being coerced.

During the cross-examination by the prosecutor,he said he had not told the CBI investigating officer that decisions regarding investment/ disinvestment of equity shares/ 8 per cent NCRPS held by RTL in STPL were taken by Gautam Doshi.

Notices to govt,CBI on Essar,Loop pleas

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notices to the government and CBI on a petition filed by Essar Group and Loop Telecom challenging the jurisdiction of the special court which had issued summons against them in the 2G scam.

The two firms have been chargesheeted for cheating and criminal conspiracy. Both charges can be tried by a magistrate and not by the special court constituted under the Prevention of Corruption Act,the companies argue in the SC.

Agreeing to hear on the merits of the companies’ petitions,a Bench however refused to stay an order issued by the special court judge summoning the companies and its accused officials on February 22. The court declined to intervene with the proceedings in the special court.

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