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Witness deposing falsely to save Shahid Balwa: CBI to court

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 21:52

New Delhi: The CBI on Tuesday claimed in a Delhi court that a DB group official was "deposing falsely" in the 2G spectrum allocation case to "save" accused Shahid Usman Balwa, who is associated with the group and Swan Telecom Ltd.

Balwa is the promoter of the chargesheeted company Swan Telecom which is now known as Etisalat DB Telecom Pvt Ltd.

In its charge sheet, the CBI had alleged Swan Telecom was acting as a "front" company to secure 2G licences for Reliance ADA Group (RADAG). The RADAG has denied this allegation.

During the recording of statement of prosecution witness Ujjwal Mehta, the managing director of a DB group firm, the CBI said he is trying to save his "boss" by deposing falsely regarding the handing over of share transfer forms of Giraffe Consultancy Services (P) Limited, an alleged associate company of RADAG, to him by Balwa.

Mehta, the general manager of Real Gem Buildtech, a DB group firm, however, denied the CBI's allegations saying that during the probe into the case, he had not told the investigating officer (IO) that the share transfer forms were handed over to him by Balwa.

He also denied he is saving Balwa and said, "It is wrong to suggest that I am deposing falsely in order to save Shahid Usman Balwa, he being the top boss of the company.

"It is absolutely wrong to suggest that I am deposing falsely as my job may come to under fire for stating the truth," he told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

Balwa, along with former Telecom Minister A Raja, three top executives of RADAG and others, are facing trial in the case for various offences like cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and faking documents under the IPC and for the offences punishable under Prevention of Corruption Act.

During the recording of the statement, CBI prosecutor A K Singh showed Mehta two share transfer forms of Giraffe Consultancy Services (P) Ltd for the transfer of 1,666 shares and one share respectively.

Mehta was also shown a share transfer form of Giraffe Consultancy Services (P) Ltd of February 25, 2007 for transfer of 1,667 shares in the name of his wife Parul Mehta.

He said in February 2007, DB group's company secretary Deodatta Pandit told him that the group was going to invest in telecom sector and, as such, he along with his wife were to purchase shares of Giraffe Consultancy Services (P) Limited as per Balwa's instructions.

At this point, the CBI prosecutor told the court that the witness was resiling from his earlier statement given to the IO in which he had said that share transfer forms were handed over to him by Balwa.

Mehta, however, denied this saying, "It is wrong to suggest that forms ...Were handed over to me by Shahid Usman Balwa for effecting the purchase of shares and signing the same by me and my wife nor I stated so to the IO."

During his cross examination by counsel Vijay Aggarwal, who appeared for Balwa, Mehta said Pandit had told him that he and his wife had to sign the share transfer forms as nominee of DB group to acquire Giraffe Consultancy Services (P) Ltd.

He said this acquisition was done due to the DB Group venturing into the telecom sector.


First Published: Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 21:52
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