New Delhi: CBI's decision not to chargesheet Anil Ambani, Chairman of ADAG Group, in the 2G spectrum scam was on Thursday questioned in the Supreme Court by an NGO which alleged that he was making attempts to cover up his involvement by influencing his arrested employees.

"The three persons charge-sheeted are only the professional employees of  ADAG and are not the beneficiaries of this scam. The real beneficiary is Anil Ambani, who holds a majority stake and is Chairman of the group companies.

CBI, which has filed two chargesheets in the 2G scam, has stated that the entire company of Swan Telecom, alleged to be the front company of Reliance Telecom, was held by ADAG companies through the funds raised by Anil Ambani controlled Reliance.

The affidavit said Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair, who are all employees of Anil Ambani controlled Reliance in furtherance of their intention to cheat, created Swan Telecom out of funds arranged from Reliance Telecom for applying for licenses in 13 circles where Reliance Telecom did not have GSM spectrum.

They have been charge sheeted and are in judicial custody in Tihar Jail.

"But Ambani has not been charge-sheeted. ADAG has reportedly claimed that these actions were done without the knowledge of Ambani. If this was true then he should have sacked the three charge sheeted employees," the NGO said adding that instead he visited them and reportedly assured legal assistance.

The CPIL said, "he (Ambani) would have claimed to be a victim of their actions, who used Rs 1000 crore of the company money to create Swan, because of which his company has been charge-sheeted, its reputation tarnished and its stock has drastically fell."

"Instead, Ambani visits Tihar Jail to meet his three employees and assures them of all legal assistance. This was clearly an attempt to influence them so that they don't allege his involvement," it claimed.

The NGO in its application also accused DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran, who today resigned as Textile Minister and Pradeep Baijal, the then Chairperson of TRAI of abusing their official position.

"Apart from abusing his position as Telecom Minister to benefit Maxis which later invested in his family owned Sun TV, Maran also abused his position as Telecom Minister to divert hundreds of telephone lines of BSNL to Sun TV which were ostensibly provided to Maran for his official use.

"CBI has been investigating this case from Sept 2007 itself, but no action has been taken and apparently the investigation is still continuing," the application said while annexing a CBI report of September 11, 2007.

The NGO claimed that as minister he prevailed upon the Prime Minister to take spectrum pricing out of purview of the cabinet which later triggered the 2G scam.

"This was adversely commented upon by the CAG and Justice Shivraj Patil in their reports," it said.

Referring to Baijal, the CPIL said under the TRAI Act, Chairperson TRAI has no authority whatsoever to clarify statutory recommendations through a personal letter, that too based on a telephonic conversation, written after GoM approval, Cabinet decision and issuance of UASL guidelines 2003.

The CPIL in its application made reference of the CBI charge sheets which details the complex web of structuring that was done by the Reliance employees to hide the fact that Swan was fully a Reliance company.

The application further claimed that the payment made of over Rs 100 crores from Reliance account on October 19, 2007 to Swan (the same day Reliance got dual-tech license), could not have been made without the concurrence of Ambani.

SC rejects PIL on spectrum loss

Meanwhile The Supreme Court on Thursday declined to entertain a PIL that alleged a whooping loss of Rs 37,000 crore to the exchequer on account of private telecom operators inflating their subscribers base to garner the scarce spectrum.

The petition alleged that besides causing the huge loss, the modus operandi adopted by the telecom operators posed serious threat to national security as thousands of SIM cards were distributed free of cost without basic verification.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and H L Dattu sought to know from counsel Subhash Sharma locus standi of the petitioner "Aam Admi", an NGO, and said it was not inclined to entertain the PIL as no sufficient materials were placed before it.

"We want to know how many PILs you have filed earlier. Your petition is relying only on newspaper clippings. There is no independent material," the bench told the counsel while dismissing the petition.

The petitioners cited certain illustrations to allege that free SIM cards with "free talk time" were being allocated to benami subscribers to inflate the base and claim spectrum accordingly.

It urged the court to direct the Centre and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to "conduct audit and weed out" the bogus subscribers.

(JPN/ Agencies)

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