Unitech managing director being questioned

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

NEW DELHI - Unitech managing director Sanjay Chandra is being questioned by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at its headquarters over the 2G telecom scam, officials said Tuesday.

A CBI official said that Chandra was summoned to the agency’s headquarters Tuesday. “We began to question him about 4.30 p.m. It is still going on,” said the official, at around 6.30 p.m.

The top officials of other telecom companies who were allocated spectrum and licenses for for 2G mobile phone services at Rs.1,658 crore, for 122 circles all over India, were also questioned by CBI.

The CBI had told a Delhi court that then Communications Minister A.Raja had given favours to at least two telecom firms, Swan Telecom and Unitech, who benefitted to the tune of several hundred crore of rupees by selling their stakes to various other global firms shortly after getting licences.

According to CBI, Unitech was alloted Unified Access Service licenses in 22 circles for Rs.1,658 crore - 60 percent of which it offloaded to Norway’s Telenor for Rs.6,100 crore even before roll-out.

Raja and Shahid Usman Balwa, head of DB realty, which owns Swan Telecom, are already in CBI custody.

Unitech had released a statement Tuesday that it was cooperating with the investigation authorities. In continuation of the ongoing investigations, I am here today to personally clarify certain issues raised by the CBI, Chandra said in the statement.

He added that there CBI was that all the 9 telecom companies, who received the licenses, are being questioned by the agencies and it is not specific to any one company”.

Chandra noted that Unitech is a responsible corporate, which has been abiding by the law of the land.

Unitech has co-operated with all investigating agencies from the very beginning, as we have nothing to hide. Our officers have provided all records for examination and clarified all issues raised by them from time to time. Going forward, we will continue to assist in the same spirit, he said.

Similar to Swan Telecom and Unitech, another licensor, Datacom, later became Videocon Mobile and S Tel now has large stake by Bahrain Telecom. The other companies are Tata Tele, Idea Cellular, Loop Telecom, Shyam Telelink and Spice.

According to CBI officials, the top officials from all these telecom companies were also summoned and questioned Tuesday.

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