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2G: CBI Calls Anil, Tina Ambani As Witnesses

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Injecting a new element in the 2G spectrum allocation case trial, CBI on Thursday, 30 May '2013 asked a Delhi court to "summon" Reliance ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani and his wife Tina Ambani as prosecution witnesses to "arrive at the truth" and for a "just decision" in the case.

CBI moved an application in the court saying Anil Ambani, his wife Tina and 15 other persons are required to be examined as witnesses in the case as "some new facts", including some bank documents pertaining to money transaction of Rs 997 crore in October 2007 between DB Group Company and Reliance ADA Group companies, have surfaced.

RADAG's Group company Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) and Vinod Goenka, Managing Director of the DB Realty Ltd, are accused in the case.

CBI's plea to call Anil Ambani as a witness assumes importance as three top Reliance ADAG executives-- Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair-- are facing trial in the case along with Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka.
 
The agency had alleged that RTL used Swan Telecom, an ineligible firm, as its front company to get 2G licenses and the costly radio waves.

 
Special Public Prosecutor U U Lalit told the court that these witnesses are required to be summoned for recording of their statements to ascertain the truth.


After hearing Lalit's arguments, Special CBI Judge O P Saini issued notices to all the 17 accused, including three firms RTL, Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd, seeking their responses on July 3 on the agency's plea.

The recording of statements of ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani and his wife Tina as witnesses in ongoing 2G case trial will help CBI bolster its case, agency Chief Ranjit Sinha said on 30 May '2013.

The agency has moved an application before the special CBI court in New Delhi seeking recording of statements of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group Chairman and his spouse as witnesses.

Although the agency has recorded the statement of Anil while investigating the case, it had not produced him before the court as a witness.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini issued notices after Special Public Prosecutor U U Lalit told the court that their testimonies are required to be recorded "to arrive at the truth".

"Issue notices to the accused persons for July 3," the judge said, adding that he would decide on July 3 as to whether it would seek a reply from the accused on a separate CBI plea seeking to recall Department of Telecommunications (DoT) official Nitin Jain as a witness in the case.

During the hearing, Lalit told the court that these witnesses are required to be called for recording of their statements to ascertain the truth.

He told the court that some documents regarding transaction of money have been received from the banks and these witnesses are required to be examined in that context.

Seeking to call Anil Ambani as a witness in the case, Lalit said that being the head of Reliance ADAG, his testimony is required regarding transaction of money between his various alleged companies.

"Unless and until we have this part (about money transaction) coming from the top, I do not think the task will be complete," the prosecutor said.

Besides Anil and Tina Ambani, the CBI is seeking to call other witnesses including a former advisor to the Trai, some bank officials and other CFSL experts.

Lalit told the court that the CBI had recorded Anil Ambani's statement under section 161 of the CrPC during the probe into the case but it was not placed before the court earlier as the Reliance ADAG Chairman was not arrayed as a prosecution witness in the case.

He sought the court's permission to place Ambani's statement before it today itself but the judge said that he will deal with the issue after going through the reply filed by the accused.

The CBI also moved an application seeking to recall prosecution witness Nitin Jain, whose statement has already been recorded saying that there "appears to be slight inconsistency" in his testimony regarding the cut off date.

The CBI's plea to call Anil Ambani as a witness assumes importance as three top Reliance ADAG executives-- Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair-- are accused in the case and were granted bail after spending nearly seven months in jail.

(PTI)