CBI has examined Tata-Unitech deal, Voltas land deal
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), probing the 2G spectrum allocation scam, has also examined the role of Tata group of companies and its dealings with M/s Unitech Limited and another deal involving Voltas, Chennai.
Tata Realty and Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd (TRIL) had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on October 7, 2007 with M/s Unitech Limited, which had got licences for many circles through its companies, for purchase of 517 acres of land at Gurgaon worth Rs.2,500 crore . Three days later, TRIL paid an advance of Rs.1,700 crore to Unitech Ltd. TRIL had got Rs.1,700 crore from Tata Sons Ltd. for raising its equity and as a board member of Tata Sons, Ratan Naval Tata, was privy to the decision. Unitech Ltd. had utilised the amount for entry fee for Unified Access Service (UAS) licences.
These and more details are contained in a 45-page presentation which CBI Director A.P. Singh made a fortnight ago before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), which is looking into all matters relating to the telecom policy and its implementation from 1998 to 2009. A copy of the presentation is with The Hindu.
Mr. Singh had told the JPC that the agency had also looked into dealings between Voltas, a Tata group company, and the owners of a plot in Chennai.
On Unitech-Tata deal, the CBI said TRIL identified only 44.15 acres, valued at Rs.602.8 crore, as suitable for its project and remaining amount of Rs.1,098.16 crore was returned by Unitech with interest to TRIL between June 2008 and January 2011. “This single transaction cannot be construed to prove that M/s Unitech Ltd., was an associate of Tata Sons in terms of Unified Access Service Licence (UASL) guidelines,'' the CBI chief had told the JPC.
The CBI's examination for the Chennai transaction relating to Voltas, a Tata Group company, found that the company was still fighting a case to renew its lease over a plot located at Anna Salai in Chennai, with the plot owner. The CBI also looked into a proposal for an out-of-court settlement in 2006 from a person which it claimed was close to the first family of DMK. But the proposal which envisaged construction of a new building by M/s Tata Realty on the land, could not materialise.
On pending issues relating to 2G spectrum case, the CBI Director told the JPC that investigation into Loop Telecom Ltd., which was issued 21 UAS licences in 2008, was continuing.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) had received complaints alleging that Essar Group was using corporate veil and complex web of companies to indirectly hold entire share holding in M/s Loop Telecom.
Violation of norms
Essar Group was also having 33 per cent stake in M/s Vodafone-Essar operating pan India mobile telecom services. Such alleged indirect holding of M/s Essar group in M/s Loop Telecom was in violation of clause 8 of UAS licence guidelines. The DoT officers strongly proposed issue of show-cause to the company for termination of its UAS licences for 21 circles. However, certain public servants, including the then Secretary and Telecom Minister, did not allow for issue of such notice, allowing the company to operate licences in violation of UAS licence guidelines. While the matter is being probed in detail, the CBI has also sent a Letter Rogatory to Mauritius.
With the investigation reaching final stages at home and the Mauritius government transmitting information to the Indian High Commission in Port Louis, the CBI is likely to file the second supplementary charge sheet in the 2G scam case by the first week of July which would focus on allegations against Loop Telecom and S.Tel.
The agency had sought information about 15 entities, including 10 private companies, from Mauritius.
A joint team of CBI and Enforcement Directorate had recently visited Mauritius, Cyprus, Singapore and Isle of Man to gather evidence.
Highly placed CBI sources said the authorities in Mauritius had provided details of companies, their balance-sheets, banking transactions and other registration documents.
The CBI had asked Mauritius authorities for details on Delphi Investments Limited, Maavi Investments Ltd, Capital Global Ltd., Black Lion Ltd., Inditel Holdings, Deccan Asian Infrastructure, Aidtel Holding, Kaif Investments, Electro Investments Ltd. and Palab Investments for their alleged role in the 2G scam. The Supreme Court of Mauritius had directed the Attorney-General there to provide the information to India.
The CBI is examining if Delphi Investments, Mauritius, to which Reliance Telecommunication had sold its 9.9 per cent stake in SwanTelecom, was acting as a front and who are the persons behind it.