New Delhi: Reliance Group chairman Anil Ambani, who appeared before a special court on Thursday as a witness in the 2G spectrum allocation case, said he was unaware or could not recall the names of companies including Swan Telecom that the federal investigating agency claims were controlled by him although Ambani did not dispute the fact that he had signed on money transfers to some of these companies.
“I’m not aware of any company called Swan Telecom," Ambani told the special court of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), presided by judge O.P. Saini, when asked by the prosecution if he was aware that this company was given telecom spectrum and licence in 2008.
Ambani also could not recall his connections to ADAE Ventures, Zebra Consultants, Swan Consultants, Tiger Traders, Sonata Investment, and Parrot Consultants, all companies mentioned by an ICICI Bank official in a statement to the Central Bureau of Investigation in 2011. The ICICI official’s statement links Reliance Telecom Ltd to Swan Telecom.
Ambani did not dispute documentary records, shown to him by CBI counsel U.U. Lalit of fund transfers of ₹ 122.85 crore between some of these companies that had been approved by him. The signature was his, Ambani admitted.
“It is wrong to suggest that I have knowledge about AAA Consultancy Services (P) Limited, ADAE Ventures (P) Limited, Parrot Consultants (P) Limited, Tiger Traders (P) Limited, Zebra Consultants (P) Limited, Swan Telecom (P) Limited and Swan Consultants (P) Limited, based on the documents shown to me today in the court. It is wrong to suggest that all the decisions regarding these companies, as shown to me today in the court, were in my knowledge," Ambani said in the court.
“It is wrong to suggest that it was in my knowledge that the structure of STPL (Swan Telecom Pvt. Ltd) be created in such a manner that its real ownership should not be known. It is wrong to suggest that I am not disclosing the true facts to this court in order to save the accused from legal punishment," Ambani said.
Ambani was earlier scheduled to appear in the court as a witness for the prosecution on 19 July, but this was postponed to Thursday after Reliance Telecom, controlled by Ambani, appealed the lower court’s decision, in the Supreme Court, to allow new witnesses to be examined. This plea was rejected on Thursday. Tina Ambani, wife of Anil Ambani will have to appear in the special court on Friday.
Reliance Telecom, along with three senior Reliance Group executives Gautam Doshi, Sanjay Pipara and Hari Nair, are among accused in the 2G scam, along with former communications minister A. Raja. A November 2010 Comptroller and Auditor General of India report had said that the allocations of telecom licences and spectrum in January 2008 caused the government a notional loss of ₹ 1.76 trillion.