2G scam | RTL seeks discharge in 2G case by using law ministry report

2G scam | RTL seeks discharge in 2G case by using law ministry report

New Delhi: Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL), an accused in 2G spectrum allocation scam, on Wednesday sought discharge from the case contending before a Delhi court that a report of the law ministry exonerates it as its stake in alleged beneficiary Swan Telecom was below 10%.

The counsel for RTL argued that initially the Anil Ambani-promoted firm held 9.9% shares in Swan Telecom Private Ltd (STPL).

However, at the time of grant of license to STPL, RTL had no stakes in it and hence both companies, as per the law ministry report, cannot be termed “associate" of each other, S Ganesh, counsel for RTL, told special CBI judge O P Saini.

The report of the ministry of law and justice says an existing licensee telecom firm should have more than 10% stakes in another firm at the time of grant of unified access services licenses (UASL) to the latter for being termed as associate, he said.

“The opinion of the ministry says the date on which a company applied for the licence is irrelevant and the only thing which matters is the date when actual licence was granted," Ganesh, who also argued for three RADAG executives, said.

“Swan Telecom applied for licence on 5 March, 2007, and according to the charge sheet it was an essential date. The only case made out against my clients is that Swan Telecom was ineligible on that date as RTL was having stakes in it and it was in violation of UASL guidelines."

“But, in October 2007, the control of Swan Telecom was handed over by my clients and their other associates to Shahid Usman Balwa. On 10 January, 2008, spectrum licence was issued to Swan Telecom. At that time, RTL was not holding a stake in Swan Telecom. This shows there is no violation and no charges are made out against my clients. They deserved to be discharged," he said.