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2G scam: CBI seeks detention of 5 corporate execs

Last updated on: April 15, 2011 14:31 IST

2G scam: CBI seeks detention of 5 corporate execs

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The Central Bureau of Investigation on Friday sought the 'detention' of five corporate executives chargesheeted by it for their alleged role in the 2G scam, saying that they might 'abscond' and impede the trial.

Opposing their bail pleas, the CBI, in its reply to the court of Additional Session Judge O P Saini, said that some of the key witnesses, belonging to the corporate world, directly worked under them and the possibility of the accused winning them over could not be ruled out.

"The accused are holding high positions and now that the names of witnesses are disclosed, some of whom are directly working under (them) or are amenable to their directions, possibility of winning over and/or influencing the witnesses is clearly present," the CBI said.

"Considering the matter on record, complicity of present accused in the crime is clearly made out. The act complained of and offences alleged are far serious having made deep inroads in public interest and financial affairs of the state," the CBI said.

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Image: Vinod Goenka, co-promoter of DB Realty.

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The top corporate leaders are Swan Telecom director Vinod Goenka, Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd managing director Sanjay Chandra, and three top officials of Reliance ADA Group Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair who have been named as accused by the CBI in its first chargesheet running into 80,000 pages.

The replies, settled by Special Public Prosecutor U U Lalit, appointed by the Supreme Court to assist the special court to try the 2G scam accused exclusively, said there was every likelihood that the accused 'will abscond' in order to avoid smooth trial.

Judge Saini, who has been directed by apex court to hold day-to-day trial in the case, had earlier allowed Lalit to file written replies to the bail applications of the corporate executives who were not arrested during the investigation by the CBI.

The court would hear the remaining arguments on the bail applications on Friday.

The CBI, in its reply, also detailed alleged specific roles of various corporate executives in the 2G case.

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Image: Sanjay Chandra, Unitech MD.

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On the alleged role Sanjay Chandra, the agency submitted that even the aims and objectives of Unitech group of companies did not say it aimed at venturing into the telecom sector.

"Unitech group companies were in business of real estate and even the objects of the companies were not changed to telecom and registered as required before applying. Companies were ineligible to get the licences," said the CBI reply.

Detailing alleged "criminal role" of the Reliance Telecom executives in the case, the agency said, "Investigation also revealed that it was his (Gautam Doshi's) brain child, who used Swan Telecom as front company of Reliance ADA Group to apply for UAS licences disguising the actual ownership and control."

The agency also accused the Reliance official of "forging crucial documents" of Swan, promoted by Shahid Usman Balwa.

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Photographs: Reuters
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The agency made similar allegations against Vinod Goenka of D B Realty saying they had "conspired" with former Telecom Minister A Raja and DoT officials to "secure" UAS licences.

"The status of a person changes in law after filing of the charge sheet. They are not entitled to be released on bail ipso facto (by default) on appearance before the court. From being suspects, they have now become accused and hence, will have to justify their bail plea," Lalit had said on Wednesday while opposing the bail pleas of the five corporate honchos.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Vinod Goenka of Swan Telecom, had moved the bail application, saying, "The accused is entitled to be released on bail."

"The charge sheet has already been filed, cognisance taken. If an accused is not arrested during the investigation, then there is no question of his arrest subsequently," Rohatgi had said.

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Photographs: Reuters
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"What is the apprehension of the CBI? I have appeared before it during the investigation and now I am before the court and there is no precedent that the accused is denied bail after being summoned in such a case," he had said.

The CBI had filed its charge sheet in the case on April 2 against nine persons and three leading telecom companies--Reliance Telecom Ltd, Swan Telecom Ltd and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd.

The CBI has accused them of allegedly committing offences of forgery and cheating under the Indian Penal Code and of offences of giving and accepting bribe and abusing official position under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI has accused Raja of "conspiring" with bureaucrats, including a retired IAS officer, and corporate honchos to cause a loss of Rs 30,984 crore (Rs 309.84 billion) to the exchequer in allocation of the 2G spectrum.

The CBI is likely to file a second charge sheet in the case by April 25 and is to complete its probe by May 31.



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