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Raja and Behura quizzed by CBI for Loop-Essar

Carrying on its probe into the 2G scam, the CBI has recorded the statements of jailed former telecom Minister A Raja and the then telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura.



New Delhi: Carrying on its probe into the
2G scam, the CBI has recorded the statements of jailed former
telecom Minister A Raja and the then telecom secretary
Siddhartha Behura in connection with grant of spectrum licence
to Loop and the role of Essar group.

Highly-placed sources said the duo was quizzed after
the recent communications from Ministry of Corporate Affairs
and some legal opinions expressed by former legal experts
claimed that Ruias-led Essar group had only 2.15 per cent
stake in Loop Telecom at the time of grant of 2G licence.

As per `substantial equity` clause of the licence, a
company cannot hold more than 10 per cent in two operating
licences in the same circle.

Raja and Behura were questioned in the jail lock-up
earlier this week after a special court gave permission to the
CBI to quiz the two along with Reliance ADAG group MD Gautam
Doshi. The agency had pleaded that further investigation is
being carried out and the three accused are required to be
examined in judicial custody in the interest of the case.

The interrogation of Raja, former Telecom Secretary
Siddharth Behura and Reliance ADAG group MD Gauram Dosh, which
took place in the Patiala House court complex, lasted for
three hours with everyone quizzed separately for one hour
each.

The sources said that Raja and Behura were questioned
in connection with the Essar-Loop controversy as the agency
claims that the oil major had more than 10 per cent stakes, a
charge denied by the company.

The sources said the duo was questioned about some of
the documents received by the agency from Mauritius.

They said Raja and Behura were in office when the
spectrum was allocated to the Loop Telecom and hence there
questioning was necessary before the agency could take a final
view on filing a chargesheet before August 31.

The Registrar of Companies (Mumbai) had said that "the
Essar Group, directly or indirectly, held only 2.15% of Loop
Telecom, as on 3.9.07, i.e. the date on which the application
was made to DoT for UAS licence".

The RoC letter also said that "documents of the
company do not substantiate "Associate" relationship between
"Essar Group and Khaitan Group" as alleged.

Doshi was also quizzed by the CBI after the money
trail for Delphi Investment the company to which the 9.9 per
cent stake held by Reliance Telecom in Swan was transferred in
December 2007 had been moved to Switzerland.

Details and the funding pattern of Maavi Investment
Fund, the company of which Delphi is a wholly-owned
subsidiary, had also been received by the CBI.

PTI

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