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Criminal liability cannot be passed on: Unitech Wireless

Criminal liability cannot be passed on: Unitech Wireless
PTI
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First Published: Tue, Aug 09 2011. 06 33 PM IST
Updated: Tue, Aug 09 2011. 06 33 PM IST
New Delhi: Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu), a telecom firm accused in 2G scam, on Tuesday told a Delhi court that the criminal liability cannot be “inherited” or “passed on” to a company which has come into being following the amalgamation of eight alleged beneficiaries group companies.
“A company is a legal entity. A company formed with the merger of other firms does not inherit criminal liability of the companies so merged or the predecessor companies.
“If eight group companies have done something wrong, CBI Investigating Officer (IO) is intelligent enough to sue them in a civil court. How can a successor company be held liable for predecessor companies? A criminal liability cannot be inherited or passed on,” senior advocate Meet Malhotra, appearing for Unitech Wireless, told Special CBI Judge O. P. Saini.
Seeking discharge in the case, the defence lawyer said “Unitech Wireless came into being after alleged conspiracy was over. CBI cannot haul it for alleged acts of other firms.”
CBI, on the contrary, alleged “Sanjay Chandra, managing director of Unitech Group, applied for 2G licences through eight group companies, Aska Project Ltd, Nahan Properties Pvt Ltd, Unitech Builders and Estates Pvt Ltd, Unitech Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, Azare Properties Ltd, Adonis Projects Pvt Ltd, Hudson Properties Ltd and Volga Properties Pvt Ltd and these firms were renamed after they got UAS Licenses from DoT as Unitech Wireless group companies.
“Subsquently, all the said eight companies were merged into Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd. Hence, Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Pvt Ltd is considered as representing all Unitech Group companies and later merged into it.”
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First Published: Tue, Aug 09 2011. 06 33 PM IST