A CBI witness on Monday faced intense questioning during his cross-examination in 2G spectrum case in a court here for concluding that Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd (STPL) was an “associate company” of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG).
Henry Richard, Registrar of Companies, who was deposing as a prosecution witness, said he had prepared a report on the issue after he was supplied with “additional information” by CBI.
“I visited the office of CBI at New Delhi and examined the documents mentioned in my report dated March 11, 2011 and came to the conclusion mentioned therein (regarding STPL being an associate company of RADAG),” he said.
On this, the court asked if some “additional information” was made available to him on the date when he had prepared the March 11, 2011 report, in which he had concluded that STPL was an associate company of RADAG.
“That is correct. My report mentioned above and conclusions therein were based upon the provisions of the Companies Act with specific reference to AS-18 of the Accounting Standard Rules,” he told Special Judge O P Saini.
The statements were made by the witness when the judge sought an explanation from him after he referred to his earlier reports prepared by him on the basis of the complaints received by Janata Party Chief Subramanian Swamy and others in which he (Richard) had stated that the allegation that STPL was owned more than 10 per cent by RADAG was “not borne out” by the documents and records available with the ROC’s Mumbai office.
Observing that on October 12, he had stated that STPL was an associate company of the RADAG and today he was referring that in the earlier report the same conclusion was not borne out, the judge asked Richard to reconcile with his statements.
“Please reconcile the two statements,” the judge asked him.
Mr Richard answered the court’s query and said his report of January 20, 2011 on the complaint received by Mr Swamy and others was based on the documents filed by the companies in the ROC’s Mumbai office, whereas the March 11, 2011 report was made by him on the request of CBI received through the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA).
His deposition assumes importance as CBI had, in its charge sheet filed on April 2 last year, alleged Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) used Swan Telecom, an ineligible firm, as its front company to get licenses and the costly radio waves.
The charge sheet has also named Group MD of RADAG Gautam Doshi, group President Surender Pipara and senior Vice President Hari Nair, along with RTL, as accused in the case for allegedly entering into a criminal conspiracy to cheat the government by getting licenses in an illegal manner.
However, the company has denied all the allegations against it and its three officials. Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka are also accused in the case.
During his cross examination by advocate Vijay Aggarwal, who appeared for Shahid Balwa, Mr Richard said that as per records available in the ROC office in Mumbai, RTL, either directly or through its associates, did not have equity holding of more than 10 per cent in STPL.