Shares given to Delphi were grossly undervalued

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) informed the Supreme Court on Thursday that the alleged role of Anil Ambani and other Reliance ADAG employees in the sale of Swan Telecom to Delphi Investments, a Mauritius-based company was being investigated.

Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for the CBI and reading out the status report on the probe being conducted, submitted before a Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and A.K. Ganguly that the shares of Swan sold to Delphi were undervalued. According to the CBI, in December 2007, the Reliance sold its 9.9 per cent stake in Swan to Delphi for Rs. 1.07 crore, a throwaway price, “which suggests that Delphi was a front for Reliance.”

Mr. Venugopal said “Reliance ADAG had 9.99 percent shares in Swan. Swan had sold its 107.90 lakh shares to Delphi at the rate of Rs. 15 per share and Etisalat had bought the shares from Delphi at the rate of Rs. 285 per share. Shares given to Delphi were grossly undervalued and Reliance had received $4 million.”

He said “the three employees of the RADAG have gone back on their earlier 161 Cr.PC statements and have said in the Delhi High Court that they were just employees of the company and what they did was on instructions. We are going to take our probe further to find out who are the real beneficiaries of the transaction.”

The CBI also told the court that three ADAG employees, Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair, who were arrested in the 2G case, might turn approver and investigators might get to know the real beneficiaries. The investigating agency also gave a clean chit to Datacom, claiming that the company was eligible and did not get advantage during the 2G spectrum allocation. Unlike Swan and Unitech, Datacom was eligible to get licence, the CBI said.

It also gave a clean chit to Tata Teleservices and said the Tata Group was a loser in the 2G spectrum allocation because of the former Telecom Minister, A. Raja's ‘conspiracy' with other co-accused.

The CBI refuted the charge that the Tatas had gifted its Voltas land in Chennai worth about Rs. 200 cr. to DMK president M. Karunanidhi's family. Mr. Venugopal said Voltas was holding this land as a lessee and the matter was pending in the Madras High Court. Further, he said the letter written by Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata to Mr. Karunanidhi was a general letter.

The CBI also said that though donations made to Tamizh Maiyam, a Chennai-based cultural organisation involving DMK MP Kanimozhi, were found to be as per norms, suspicious donations made on the eve of grant of licences were being investigated.

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