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Fund transfer to Swan appears to be signed by ADAG Chairman

Friday, 30 November 2012 - 9:32pm IST | Agency: PTI
The written instructions for transfer of over Rs.100 crore to Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd "appears" to have been signed by Reliance ADA Group Chairman Anil Ambani, a CBI witness on Friday told a Delhi court.

The written instructions for transfer of over Rs.100 crore to Swan Consultants Private Limited, which later became Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, an accused firm in the 2G case, "appears" to have been signed by Reliance ADA Group Chairman Anil Ambani, a CBI witness today told a Delhi court.

According to the CBI charge sheet, Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) had allegedly used Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, an ineligible firm, as its "front" company to get the 2G spectrum licenses and the costly radio waves in 2008 during the tenure of former Telecom Minister A Raja, the key accused in the case.

RTL and three top executives of Reliance ADAG -- Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair, are facing trial in the case alongwith Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd and its promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka.

RTL and the three top executives of Reliance ADAG, during the argument on charges in the court, had opposed all the allegations levelled against them by the CBI in its charge sheet.

Deposing as a CBI witness in the court, Amit Khot, Deputy Branch Manager of ICICI Bank's Matunga Branch in Mumbai, said that as per the documents, Vikata Engineering Services Pvt Ltd had asked the ICICI bank to transfer Rs 100 crore to Swan Consultants Pvt Ltd on May 25, 2007.

"Document, instructions regarding transfer of funds... appears to have been signed by Anil Ambani at point A, when compared with specimen signature available," Khot told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

According to the CBI, the document pertains to a "bunch of original RTGS advices including RTGS advice dated January 22, 2007 of Swan Consultants Pvt Ltd to ICICI Bank Ltd, Mumbai, regarding transfer of Rs 3 crore to Tiger Traders Pvt Ltd and RTGS advices dated May 25, 2007 of Vikata Engineering Services Pvt Ltd to ICICI Bank Ltd Mumbai regarding transfer of Rs 100 crore to Swan Consultants Pvt Ltd."

During the recording of statement in the court, Khot was shown the document by CBI prosecutor A K Singh and he deposed that as per this, the instruction regarding transfer of funds appeared to have been signed by Anil Ambani.

The CBI, in its charge sheet, had also alleged that Tiger Traders Pvt Ltd was an "associate company" of Reliance ADA Group.

During his cross examination by counsel H H Ponda, who appeared for RTL and Doshi, Khot denied that he was "tutored" by CBI's investigation officer (IO) to compare the signatures of Doshi, Nair and others.

"I have not told the IO that I can compare the signatures of Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and others with their specimen signatures. It is wrong to suggest that I have been tutored to compare the signatures of Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and others. This is part of my official duties," he said.

The CBI, in its charge sheet, had alleged that the top officials of Reliance ADAG were also involved in day-to-day affairs of Swan and Tiger Traders Pvt Ltd.

Meanwhile, the court deferred for December 11 its order on CBI's plea seeking handwriting samples of Doshi, Pipara and Nair for identification of their purported signatures on some important documents.

The court on November 20 had reserved its order for today on the plea in which the agency had said that the opinion of a handwriting expert was necessary to ascertain the signatures on some documents which were filed in the court along with the charge sheet.


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