The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has started a fresh inquiry into the Rs 1,700-crore (Rs 17 billion) land deal between Tata Realty and Unitech in 2007.
Earlier, it was questioned whether the advance given by Tata Realty was used by Unitech for real estate projects or for a telecom licence pertaining to the 2G telecom spectrum allocation scam.
The CBI is also investigating the allocation of dual technology spectrum to Tata Teleservices in February 2008. Both the issues were part of the ongoing probe into the 2G spectrum scam, the agency told the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
The CBI will also analyse a report on this matter that the Special Fraud Investigation Organisation (SFIO) had filed last year. In its report, the SFIO had alleged the realty deal between Tatas and Unitech in 2007 could have been aimed at funding Unitech’s telecom licence.
A senior CBI official said the fresh probe was being initiated because new facts had come to light and it was felt certain matters required more investigation. So far, three charge sheets, including a supplementary one, have been filed in the 2G spectrum scam. If CBI finds any incriminating evidence in the case, it will file a new charge sheet in the matter directly, under the existing first information report.
The agency will also hold the transfer of the investigation officer in the 2G spectrum probe on the orders of the apex court and get a new prosecutor to replace U U Lalit, who has been elevated as a Supreme Court judge.
In October 2011, the CBI had told a joint parliamentary committee there was no evidence of any irregularity in the Tata-Unitech deal, adding the matter couldn’t be linked to the spectrum scam. Earlier, it had asked senior Tata group officials to examine whether Tata Realty’s Rs 1,700-crore advance to Unitech was for real estate projects or linked to the 2G licence payments through front companies.
After its probe, the agency arrived at the conclusion that Tata Realty had made an advance payment to Unitech in October 2007, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding to buy 527 acres in Gurgaon. Subsequently, however, an unutilised amount of about Rs 1,000 crore (Rs 10 billion) was returned to Tata Realty.