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Dilution of equities to foreign firms legal: A Raja

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 22:33

New Delhi: Former Telecom Minister A Raja on Wednesday told a Delhi court that dilution of equities by alleged beneficiaries of 2G spectrum scam to foreign firms was cleared by the government and did not constitute any offence.
"First of all, there was no sale of licences and then the offloading of equities was within the limit of 74 percent. Moreover, the transactions were cleared at the highest level (Foreign Investment Promotion Board)," senior advocate Sushil Kumar, appearing for Raja, told Special CBI Judge O P Sani.
"The then Finance Minister had himself told the Prime Minister that the dilution of equity was not sale and was completely allowed under the corporate law," he said.
The offloading of equities by Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd and Unitech (Tamil Nadu) Wireless Pvt Ltd to Dubai-based Etisalatand Norway-based Telenor respectively did not constitute any offence, he said.
Swan Telecom and Unitech did not sell their licences to make profits, he said, adding the dilution of shares was not sale and the government itself approved FDI upto 74 percent in telecom sector.
"All companies, which have been allotted licences by me, have brought in foreign equity," the counsel for Raja said.  Moreover, bringing FDI in telecom sector was necessary as no Indian firm was capable to roll out services on their own, he said.
"Kisi mein dum nahi hai is desh main, Tatas main bhi nahi jo apne dum pe roll out kar sakey. (Nobody in this country, not even the Tatas, has the capabilities to roll out the services on their own)," Kumar said.

CBI fails to establish motive for supporting firms: A Raja
A Raja told the court that CBI has failed to attribute any motive to him in the grant of 2G spectrum licences to firms like Unitech Group and Reliance Telecom Ltd.
"So far as companies like Unitech and Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) were concerned, CBI has failed to establish any motive or consideration for grant of licence. There is no quid pro quo vis-a-vis Unitech. CBI has nothing to show as to what motive or reward I had for granting the licence to Unitech.
"So far as Reliance Telecom Ltd and its three officials are concerned, no material has been brought on record as to what motive I had. Even CBI does not say anything against RTL as to what it earned," senior advocate Sushil Kumar, appearing for Raja, told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.
Concluding the arguments on framing of charges, Kumar said there was no material with CBI against RTL and its three senior executives as to what benefit they got from Raja.


First Published: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 22:33
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