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A Raja favoured Swan, Unitech, says CBI
New Delhi, FEB 3 (AGENCIES):
Published on 4 Feb. 2011 12:30 AM IST
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Former Telecom minister A Raja arrived at court in a white car Thursday that was surrounded by cameras. Raja was arrested Wednesday by the CBI along with two men who worked closely with him when he was Telecom Minister- former Telecom secretary Siddharth Behura and RK Chandolia who was once Raja’s personal secretary.
In court, the CBI explained why it has accused the DMK leader of criminal conspiracy. The sum of the parts played by Raja and his associates, according to the CBI, equals Rs 22,000 crores.
The CBI says that in 2008, when the government was allocating 2G spectrum for mobile phone networks, the trio under arrested twisted the rules to benefit a few companies - especially Swan and Unitech.
The licenses for 2G spectrum were not auctioned, as many say they should have been Raja chose to follow a First-Come-First-Served policy which was set by his predecessors. But the CBI’s case is based on his office advancing the deadline for payments and informing only some of the players. Companies like Swan and Unitech seemed to have been tipped off to this, because despite the cut-off date being brought forward, they had their payments ready.
After winning their licenses, Swan and Unitech sold equity to foreign companies much before they began the rollout of their services. The giant profits they made seemed to underscore the point that spectrum had been sold far too cheaply by the government. Swan paid Rs 1537 crores and sold 45% stake to Etisalat for a profit of Rs 4, 730 crores. Unitech paid for Rs 1661 crores for its license, and sold 60% stake to Telenor for Rs 6200 cr. Together, these two players cost the government 7, Rs 195 crores, according to the CBI. Both Swan and Unitech have denied these allegations.
“It is highly incorrect to allege that any favour was shown to Unitech during the license process. Unitech Ltd.obtained the telecom licenses (through its 8 wholly-owned subsidiaries) along with 8 other players, after complying with the necessary formalities. While the licenses were issued in February 2008, the first round of investment from Telenor in Uninor was received after 13 months in March 2009,” said Unitech in a statement today.

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