New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) probe into the 2G spectrum scam money trail has reached the door steps of Vijay Mallya’s UB Group and three other companies.
According to media reports, Friday, UB Group, India Cements and two unnamed companies had facilitated payments to Kalaignar TV to help it repay Rs 200 crore to Swan Telecom.
However, Kalaignar TV has claimed that it was a legitimate loan taken on market rates to run the channel and they had returned the money with interest (approximately Rs 214 crore) to DB Realty.
On the money given to Kaliangar TV by UB Group and others, a CBI official has been quoted as saying that there is “no criminality” in companies lending money to Kalaingar but a probe will be carried out to ascertain the reasons behind it.
"We will look at the circumstances under which money was given," the official reportedly said.
The UB Group has been quick to dismiss any suggestions of foul play. "The UB Group would like to clarify that the only commercial transaction that it has with Kalaignar TV is a regular advertising contract which is in the ordinary course of business... Any speculation or suggestion of any other financial transaction in the nature of a loan to Kalaignar TV is completely untrue. We would be happy to clarify the same if and when any agency contacts us," a news agency reported quoting a company spokesperson.
Also, India Cements vice-chairman and managing director N Srinivasan, who is a top boss at the BCCI as well, has been quoted as saying that he was not aware of the development.
As per the chargesheet filed in the 2G case, former telecom minister A Raja had received Rs 200 crore as bribe for awarding telecom licence to Shahid Balwa’s Swan Telecom.
The kickback was paid by Balwa’s company DB Realty to Kalaignar TV and was routed through Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables and Cineyug Films.
The chargesheet says the bribe was paid in installments between December 23, 2008, and August 2009. But after the CBI summoned Raja in December 24 last year, Kaliagnar TV refunded the money to DB Realty with interest.
The Rs 200 crore in question had landed Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi in Tihar Jail and she has been denied bail even after approaching the Supreme Court.