New Delhi: CBI has received an opinion of Attorney General G E Vahanvati on the Essar-Loop controversy of cross-holding of shares during the allocation of 2G telecom spectrum and the agency is likely to take a decision soon on whether to file a chargesheet or not.
   
Highly-placed CBI sources said the file had been received and the decision would be taken soon. The agency has claimed Essar had more than 10 percent of cross-holdings in Loop Telecom, which was against norms.
   
CBI's charge is, however, denied by both Essar and Loop.
   
The Attorney General (AG) had endorsed the stand of CBI to prosecute some officials for allegedly entering into a criminal conspiracy for securing 2G spectrum and also suppressing information.
    
CBI was officially tight-lipped about the content of the opinion of the AG and said a final decision in the matter would be taken by CBI Director A P Singh after taking into account the opinion of the country's top law officer, its own Prosecution Director and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs which had said Essar had less than three percent of shares in Loop Telecom, the sources said.     

Essar has maintained it had adhered to rules and complied with telecom guidelines. The file was received by CBI after it was with the Union Law Ministry for nearly two weeks before being handed over to Department of Personnel, the nodal ministry looking after CBI.

CBI had approached the AG after its prosecution department differed with its findings on cross-holding of shares of Essar in Loop Telecom in connection with 2G scam, contending there is no ground for a case against it.
   
The opinion of the agency's Department of Prosecution (DoP) was similar to the one given by the Corporate Affairs ministry which had given a clean chit to Essar, saying its shareholding pattern was 2.15 percent, less than the mandatory 10 percent when 2G licence was granted, they said.
   
CBI, however, has alleged the cross-holding of shares of Essar in Loop Telecom was over the prescribed 10 percent.
    
The Registrar of Companies (RoG) in Mumbai has said "the Essar Group, directly or indirectly, held only 2.15 percent of Loop Telecom as on September 3, 2007, i.e. the date on which the application was made to DoT for UAS licence".
    
The RoC letter also said the documents of the company do not substantiate "Associate" relationship between "Essar Group and Khaitan Group" as alleged.
    
Several officials of the companies, including Prashant Ruia, have been quizzed by CBI at length ever since the agency started its probe in the case.

Agencies