Define Associate: MCA to DoT

New Delhi:  Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) has written to the Department to Telecom asking it to consult the Law Ministry to define the term `Associate`, a word which has been used by the CBI probing the 2G scam to describe Essar-Loop telecom relationship.

"I am directed to refer to DOT on the subject cited above. In this connection, it is stated that the term `Associates` has not been defined under Companies Act 1956.

"It is however defined in the accounting standard 18 and 23 of the Companies (Accounting Standard) Rules 206. It may, however, be noted that the definition of Accounting Standard is relevant for specific disclosure and consolidation of accounts purposes respectively.

"Keeping the above factors in view, it will be advisable that a definition of the term in UASL guidelines is arrived at having regard to the specific requirements of that guidelines in consolations with Ministry of Law and Justice," the letter read.

CBI had recently asked the DOT to define the term. The MCA had earlier said that Essar held only 2.15 per cent stake in new telecom licencee Loop Telecom which is well within the cross holding norms.

The Registrar of Companies (Mumbai) had said, "The Essar Group, directly or indirectly, held only 2.15 per cent of Loop Telecom as on September 03,2007 i.e. the date on which the application was made to DoT for UAS licence."

The RoC letter had also said that the documents of the company did not substantiate "Associate" relationship between "Essar Group and Loop Group" as alleged.

CBI, which is probing the 2G spectrum scam, has been saying that Essar held more than 10 per cent of shares in Loop Telecom when the spectrum was allocated to it, a charge rebutted by both the companies.

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