Raja’s 2G note: Subramanian Swamy seeks action against Chidambaram
AATISH SRIVASTAVA | New Delhi, November 18, 2011 | 13:31
Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy.
The main petitioner in 2G scam case, Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy, on Friday called the dilution of equities by the original license holders — Unitech and Swan Telecom, a “sham transaction” in the name of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
Reacting to a 2G note written by former telecom minister A. Raja to then telecom secretary in November 2008 highlighted by Headlines Today, Swamy said, “I think there is one crucial paragraph in the note you have shown which I can testify is a genuine note because it’s there in my file that I got from the CBI.”
“Raja says let this telecom commission also consider this. Now the telecom commission proceedings, the minutes all further prove that it is the finance ministry which was pushing for this share dilution concept.”
“Here are two companies, real estate companies. They don’t have a single tower, they don’t have any telecom equipment. They get a license. And two very well-established, even if they are black-listed, foreign companies want to buy shares of this company which are a paid-up capital of small amount and has no assets except spectrum license.”
“This is a sham transaction in the name of share dilution. This is not a question of bringing a foreign direct investment. It is a question of how to get their hand on the license which otherwise they could have never got because they are black-listed,” Swamy said.
He claimed that this act of then finance minister P. Chidambaram comes under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA).
“So the note has actually pointed out the dilemma of Raja. The prime minister got concerned so he wanted a meeting and it is Mr Chidambaram who was the author of this whole thing. And that’s where the provision of Prevention of Corruption Act starts,” he said.
Swamy expressed surprise at why the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was acting like an ostrich in this case.
Raja’s 2G note says Chidambaram okayed selling of stakes by Unitech, Swan
HEADLINES TODAY BUREAU | New Delhi, November 18, 2011 | 12:56
P. Chidambaram was the finance minister during the 2G spectrum allocation.
An internal note, written by former telecom minister A. Raja to then telecom secretary, which could indict Home Minister P. Chidambaram and draw even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the 2G spectrum allocation scam mess, has been accessed by Headlines Today.
In the note, Raja claims that Chidambaram as finance minister gave his nod to the dilution of stake in Unitech and Swan Telecom. It claims that this happened in the presence of the prime minister.
In the letter dated November 5, 2008, Raja wrote: “Since some misleading articles are written in the media about the issuance of new licenses and spectrum allocation, more specifically in the case of Swan Telecom and Unitech Telecom, the matter was discussed with honourable prime minister and honourable finance minister as I observed in a press conference at Chennai.”
“In the meeting honourable finance minister clarified that dilution of shares to attract foreign investment for business expansion did not amount to sale of licence and as such these companies did their share dilution as per corporate laws,” the note says.
At the time of selling stake, both Swan Telecom and Unitech Telecom did not have any assets other then licenses which they had acquired. Both Swan Telecom and Unitech Group were allotted a license each for around Rs 1,600 crore.
Months later, Swan sold 45 per cent of equity to Etisalat for a whopping Rs 4,200 crore. Unitech almost instantly sold 60 per cent of its stake for Rs 6,200 crore to Telenor. Stake sales by these companies at such high prices clearly showed how the government sold licenses at throwaway prices.
The special court had earlier directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to provide documents related to “equity dilution” by telecom operators that were allotted telecom licenses in 2008 to Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy, who also happens to be the main petitioner in the case.
CBI accused of influencing 2G scam witness
MAIL TODAY BUREAU | New Delhi, November 18, 2011 | 11:44
A special court has asked the CBI to respond to allegations that it is trying to influence witnesses in the 2G scam trial.
Special CBI judge O.P. Saini issued notice to the CBI seeking its response by November 23 on a plea filed by Vinod Goenka, a director of Swan Telecom and an accused. “What has surfaced in the evidence of PW 2 (Reliance Group chief A.N. Sethuraman) is alarming and amounts to (influencing) the witness. Action needs to be taken to abort this unhealthy practice,” Goenka’s counsel wrote in an application.
Sethuraman had told the court that two days before the 2G trial began, a CBI officer had called him over 10 times to persuade him to come to the agency’s office, but had not made an entry in the reception register.
“This was done in the name of refreshing his memory,” Goenka’s counsel said.