New Delhi: Parliament`s Public Accounts
Committee has called leading industrialists, including Ratan
Tata and Anil Ambani, and corporate lobbyist Niira Radia to
appear before the panel in connection with the 2G spectrum
scam which it is probing.
Sources said the PAC will meet on April 4 and April 5
to discuss the 2G spectrum allocation case which had led to
the resignation of telecom minister A Raja.
"Niira Radia and Ratan Tata have been called on April
4 to discuss their role in the 2G allocation. On April 5,
representatives of four companies - Swan Telecom, Reliance
Communication (Anil Ambani) and Unitech - have been asked to
present themselves," they said.
Radia is the promoter of Vaishnavi Corporate
Reacting to the PAC decision, Tata and Ambani said
they would be happy to appear before the PAC.
"Tata has expressed his willingness to appear before
the PAC on April 4 in connection with the recent developments
in the telecom sector, including allocation of 2G and 3G
spectrum," a Tata Sons spokesperson said in a statement.
In a similar statement, Reliance Communication
spokesperson said "Anil Ambani welcomes the opportunity to
appear before the PAC."
When asked, Vaishnavi said its chief Radia will appear
before the committee.
"We continue to extend our cooperation and will be
present before the PAC to answer queries and present any
clarifications," a Vaishnavi spokesperson said.
After editors of `Outlook` and `Open` magazines made
public the Radia tapes, there was a buzz that she (Radia)
would be called by the PAC.
PAC chairperson Murli Manohar Joshi as well as several
members of the panel had said that they were happy and
satisfied with the deposition made by Vinod Mehta (Editor,
Outlook) and Manu Joseph (Editor, Open).
The tapes brought to light Radia allegedly lobbying
with journalists and important people to influence formation
of the UPA-II Cabinet, especially the Telecom portfolio.
Radia is allegedly heard in the tapes making a case
for Raja to get the telecom portfolio and ensure that
Dayanidhi Maran (also of DMK) is kept out.
Ratan Tata also figures in some of these purported
conversations with Radia.
Representatives of four telecom firms RCom, Swan
Telecom and Unitech, have been called on April 5.
Swan Telecom (now DB Etisalat) chief Shahid Usman
Balwa is already in custody in the 2G Spectrum case.