NEW DELHI: Essar Group promoters, Anshuman and Ravi Ruia were among the five corporate honchos who were Monday made accused by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in its third chargesheet filed in a Delhi court arising out of investigations in the 2G scam.
The other three named in the chargesheet are Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Essar Group director (Strategy and Planning) Vikas Saraf.
Interestingly, the five have been charged with cheating the Department of Telecom (DoT) by using Loop Telecom as a “front” to secure 2G licences in 2008.
They were slapped with offences only under the Indian Penal Code as the CBI did not find enough evidence to prosecute them under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The fresh chargesheet, filed before the special CBI judge, Mr O P Saini added eight new accused, including Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holding in the list of existing 17 accused in the case. The court has now fixed December 17 for taking cognisance of the 105-page long chargesheet for prosecution on offences of cheating and criminal conspiracy under the IPC. “The matter requires further consideration. Put up on December 17 for the consideration of the
chargesheet,” the court said.
Essar Group, in a statement, denied any involvement in the 2G spectrum allocation scam and said it has complied with in totality with all conditions of telecom licences. It claimed that the CBI has confirmed that Essar was not involved in the 2G scam.
“We would like to reiterate that Essar has complied with all conditions of clause 8 under UASL guidelines (dealing with cross-holding) in totality and all the facts which have been given at the time of submitting the application for telecom licence, that is, shareholding/ownership have been independently verified by the government agencies,” Essar Group said.
Essar Group is a responsible corporate citizen and has always complied with all government guidelines and the law of the land, the Group said. The chargesheet names 100 prosecution witnesses. The CBI alleged that Essar, which already had a stake as an existing telecom operator, created a front company Loop Telecom to secure additional spectrum which was in contravention of the telecom policy.
Essar Group, however, has been saying that it has not been holding nearly or over 10 per cent stake in the Loop Telecom and its stake was only 2.15 per cent and there was no violation of clause 8 of the Unified Access Services Licences (UASL) guidelines.