2G case: Trial likely to commence from tomorrow

The much-awaited trial in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case, is likely to commence from Friday before a Delhi Court.

Last Updated: Nov 10, 2011, 16:53 PM IST

New Delhi: The much-awaited trial in the 2G
spectrum allocation scam case, involving high-profile accused
including former Telecom Minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi,
top corporate honchos and telecom firms, is likely to commence
from Friday before a Delhi Court.

Top corporate executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai
Ambani Group (ADAG) are likely to be first among the over 150
witnesses named by the CBI to be examined by the special
court, set up exclusively by the Supreme Court to deal with
the 2G case.

The stage was set for the trial of the case on October 22
after Special CBI Judge O P Saini framed charges against all
the 17 accused, including three telecom firms, saying there
was sufficient prima facie evidence against all of them.

The CBI, in its first list of witnesses submitted before
the court for summoning them, had named Group President of
Reliance A N Sethuraman, Assistant Vice President of Reliance
Capital Ltd Anand Subramaniam and Chief Regulatory Officer of
Etisalat DB Telecom Pvt Ltd Vinod Kumar Budhiraja for their
examination as prosecution witnesses tomorrow.

In the first list, the CBI has named 28 persons to be
examined as prosecution witnesses before the court in the
month of November.

Of this 11 witnesses are from Reliance which suggest that
the agency wants to deal first with the charges against
accused firms Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) and Shahid Usman
Balwa promoted Swan Telecom.

In the first list, CBI has also named General Manager of
Reliance Infrastructure Ltd (a Reliance ADAG firm) Ashish
Karyekar, Company Secretary of RTL, Hasit Shukla, Senior Vice
President (commercial) of Reliance ADAG Vishwanath Devaraja
Rao, Director of RTL Satish Seth to be summoned for their
examination as prosecution witness.

Besides them, Senior Vice President of accounts and
finance (Reliance Infrastructure Ltd) Ashish Tambawala, its
Additional Vice President Bharat Amberkar, Senior Vice
President Project Finance and Chief Financial Officer of
Reliance Power Ltd Deepak Maheshwari and Company Secretary of
Reliance Infrastructure Ltd Ramesh Shenoy have also been named
in the first list of witnesses.

ADAG-led RTL has been put on trial by the court which
said Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd was "just a mask" for RTL.
The court had said the accused Group Managing Director of
Reliance ADAG Gautam Doshi, its Group President Surendra
Pipara and its senior Vice President Hari Nair had passed
on the ineligible firm Swan Telecom to accused Shahid Balwa
and Vinod Goenka of M/s DB Realty Ltd.

Discussing the roles of three Reliance ADAG officials,
the court had said they created Swan Telecom from the funds of
RTL, the then CDMA player, for applying for the UAS licenses
in 13 circles as DoT guidelines barred it from venturing into
GSM sector.

RTL and its executives have denied all the allegations
against them and have challenged the framing of charges
against them before the Delhi High Court.

Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, the court had framed charges
against Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara, Hari Nair, Shahid Usman
Balwa, Unitech Ltd`s MD Sanjay Chandra, DB Realty MD Vinod
Goenka, Kalaignar TV MD Sharad Kumar and Bollywood filmmaker
Karim Morani.

Former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja`s former
Private Secretary R K Chandolia, directors of Kusegaon Fruits
and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal, and
three telecom firms -- RTL, Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless
(Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd have also been put on trial in the case.

The charges framed against all the accused under various
provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act
dealt with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery,
faking documents, abusing official position, getting bribe and
criminal misconduct by public servant.

The offences entail punishment ranging from six months in
jail to life imprisonment.

PTI