03 October 2011

No Benefit to Reliance Group From UAS License: CBI

The Central Bureau of Investigation has held that the Reliance Group has not benefited from the issue of UAS license to Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd and that group chief Anil Ambani could not be blamed in the creation of web of companies and transfer of funds.

The CBI's response came in a report submitted to a bench of Justice G.S Singhvi and Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly Thursday, in response to the questions raised by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation, alleging that the agency's investigation into the 2G scam was "less than honest".

The CBI, in its response, told the court that there was no evidence on the record to fix the culpability on the part of Reliance Group chief Anil Ambani.

"During investigations, Shri Gautam Doshi, who exercised his own delegated powers and position in the group, did not disclose whether he was acting under instructions, if any, from Mr. Anil Ambani. In view of this, the evidence to fix culpability on the part of Shri Anil Ambani is not available on record."

The investigating agency said that Reliance Communication and Reliance Telecom Ltd did not benefit in any way from the grant of UAS licenses to Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd.

"Being majority share holders in Reliance ADA Group (now known as Reliance Group), Shri Anil Ambani and his family members are the main beneficiary of Reliance Communications and Reliance Telecom Ltd. However, before any benefit was made to Swan Telecom Ltd on account of grant of license, it was taken over by DB Group. Therefore, DB Group and not Reliance ADAG Group had been benefited by issue of UAS license to Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd," the CBI said.

Replying to CPIL counsel Prashant Bushan's query that "the bank has told that a cheque of above 10 crores required an approval of Mr. Ambani or his wife", the CBI said: "The above observation is a distorted one as the bank official statement mentions that Sh.Anil Ambani and Smt.Tina Ambani were authorized signatories to the bank accounts of Tiger Traders Pvt.Ltd., Swan Consultants Pvt Ltd, ADAE Ventures Pvt Ltd and AAA Consultancy Services since incorporation of these companies till relevant period for amounts more than 10 crores. It does not talk about the authority competent to approve those transactions in the company."

The CBI further said that the "Ambani couple had exited from these companies before the relevant period and so the question of approving is not tenable".

"The investigation has revealed that they had not issued any bank instrument including cheque, RTGS advice, transfer request etc. which is relevant in the case. The payment of 95.51 crore by Tiger Traders Pvt Ltd to Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd has been made through ten different advices, each for 10 crore or less. These advices were signed by accused Gautam Doshi and Hari Nair and are part of records relied upon in the case."

Referring to an application filed by petitioner Dharamendra Pandey in the court of special CBI judge O.P. Saini trying the 2G spectrum scam, the investigating agency said: "However, after going into the merits of the matter and evidence available on record, the learned speci