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CBI says Essar used Loop to get 2G licences.

LOOP Telecom Limited ( LTL) was used as front company by the Essar Group to acquire 2G spectrum licences by circumventing the procedures, the Central Bureau of Investigation ( CBI) argued before a special court on Wednesday.

Advancing the final arguments in a case arising out of its probe into the 2G spectrum scam, the CBI said that the evidence brought on record showed that Loop was controlled by the Essar Group of companies.

Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan and her husband I. P. Khaitan and Essar Group director ( strategy and planning) Vikash Saraf are facing trial in the case along with three telecom firms LTL, Loop Mobile India Limited and Essar Tele Holding Limited ( ETHL). The five individuals accused, who are out on bail, have denied the CBI charges.

Special public prosecutor Anand Grover argued that the Essar Group had violated the clause 8 of Unified Access Services Licences ( UASL) guidelines to secure the radio waves.

" Loop ( LTL) was used by Essar to acquire licences by circumventing the procedures," Grover told special CBI Judge O. P. Saini.

As per clause 8, no single company or legal person, either directly or through its associates, shall have 10 per cent or more equity holding in more than one licensee company in the same service area for same service.

Grover argued that Essar had created a structure of companies to show on paper that LTL was not controlled by it whereas LTL was actually controlled by the Essar Group of companies.

Grover said that evidence has come on record before the court and relevant documents have been proved during the trial.

CBI's arguments remained inconclusive and would continue on April 6.

The CBI had charge- sheeted the accused on December 12, 2011, alleging they had cheated the department of telecommunication by using Loop Telecom as a front company to secure 2G licences in 2008.

On May 25, 2012, the court had framed charges against all the accused under Section 120- B ( criminal conspiracy) read with Section 420 ( cheating) of the Indian Penal Code while the charge of cheating was made out only against Saraf.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Apr 2, 2015
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