2G trial: Anil Ambani was not chairman of Swan
Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG)-led Reliance Telecom (RTL) and Swan Telecom has been put on trial by the court which said Swan Telecom was "just a mask" for RTL to secure 2G licences, a charge denied by ADAG.
A N Sethuraman, Group President of Reliance ADA Group, who was deposing as a prosecution witness in connection with the charge framed in the case, said Anil Ambani, Chairman of Reliance ADAG, was not the Chairman or Director of Swan Telecom.
"As per this document (which was shown to Sethuraman), Anil Ambani was not Chairman of M/s Swan Capital (P) Limited in January 2007. He was also not a Director in this company at that time.
"As per my personal knowledge also, he (Anil Ambani) was neither Chairman not Director of Swan Capital (P) Limited. It is also correct that Anil Ambani was neither Chairman nor Director of Swan Telecom (P) Limited," Sethuraman told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.
He said Reliance ADA Group was formed in 2005 under the Chairmanship of Anil Ambani.
Besides RTL and Swan Telecom, three top executives of Reliance ADAG Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair and promoters of Swan Telecom Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka have been put on trial in the 2G case.
Sethuraman, whose testimony concluded today after five days, said he had signed the application, which was submitted to the Department of Telecom (DoT) on behalf of Swan Telecom for 2G licenses in January 2007, after going through it carefully.
He said he had obtained legal opinion from Anand Bhatt, who died three years ago and was a Director in Swan Capital Pvt Ltd, about the application.
"I had asked Anand Bhatt whether he had followed the guidelines while filling up the application and the undertaking and he told me that he had done it personally and I may go ahead with signing the same.
"It is correct that only after I was fully satisfied about the correctness of the application and the undertaking, I signed the same and got it deposited in the DoT through my associate in January 2007," he said.
He said Bhatt had told him that certain formalities were required to be completed and in corporate parlance, these formalities were to be completed in writing and not orally.
In his cross examination, Sethuraman said his statement was recorded by CBI during the investigation and it took about two and half hours to complete it as some discussion was taking place between him and CBI officer who wanted to show him certain files.
He, however, said the discussion between him and the officer was not related to the 2G case.
Sethuraman said he had gone to the CBI office in 1996 in connection with the JMM bribery case as the agency wanted him to become a witness in the case.