But she has no proof whether he or his kin had any stake in Swan Telecom
Controversial corporate lobbyist Niira Radia in her statement recorded under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code has linked Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar to DB Realty but adds that she did not have any evidence to prove that Mr. Pawar or his family members had any stake in Swan Telecom.
“I state that as per the general perception in Mumbai as well as outside, DB Realty is directly or indirectly controlled by Mr. Sharad Pawar and his family members,” Ms. Radia's statement said. She also said that Mr. Pawar “might have pursued” with former Union Telecom Minister A. Raja the issue of granting Unified Access Service licences for Swan Telecom and Anil Ambani's Reliance Communications.
On Swan Telecom
In another part of the statement, Ms. Radia says: “Regarding Swan Telecom, which was the only applicant to get the spectrum in Delhi circle, I would like to state that Swan Telecom as an applicant was not even eligible for getting a UAS licence in view of the cross-holding clause. To the best of my understanding, it was controlled entirely by Reliance Communications.”
Ms. Radia's statement also mentions a conversation with a journalist in which he tells her about “some money paid to Mr. Raja in London as well as to Mr. Karunanidhi for favouring Swan Telecom and Reliance Communications.” But here too, Ms. Radia states that she did not have any knowledge of “such transactions.”
The statement also mentions a conversation between Mr. Raja's private secretary R. K. Chandolia and Ms. Radia in which Mr. Chandolia tells her that the Telecom Ministry is looking for a person to author a press note clarifying certain negative media perceptions about the Ministry to which Ms. Radia suggested some names including former TRAI chairperson Pradip Baijal, who had 10 per cent sweat equity in her company, Noesis Strategic Consulting.
Mr. Chandolia's name crops up over and over in the statement with one conversation asking her to explore the dealership of Jaguar cars, which was taken over by the Tata group and was expected to be launched in India soon.
‘Raja not interested in Telecom Ministry’
In her statement on a call made by Mr. Chandolia to her while discussions on Cabinet formation were going on in 2009, she mentions that Mr. Raja was not interested in the Telecom Ministry. While stating that she did not approach Kanimozhi, MP, for making Mr. Raja the Telecom Minister, she noted her concern her clients had about Dayanidhi Maran taking over the Ministry as he “had created a lot of problems” for the Tatas.
A statement made under Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code to a police officer is not admissible in court as evidence. Statements, totalling 105 pages recorded under Section 164 of the Cr. P.C., by senior Telecom Minister A. K. Srivastava before a magistrate go into much detail of the changes made in procedures to favour various telecom companies to get UAS licences.
Mr. Srivastava's statement lists out how on January 10, 2008, Mr. Chandolia supported by former Telecom Secretary Siddhartha Behura overcame objections other telecom officials had in quickly setting up four counters at Sanchar Bhawan to issue Letters of Intent the same day, as this was unfair to several telecom companies applying for the UAS licences.
Mr. Srivastava also stated that Mr. Chandolia asked him to stop receiving more UAS licence applications after the Unitech group had submitted their applications.