The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today questioned Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd (HFCL) promoter Mahendra Nahata and former communication minister A Raja’s close aide, Sadiq Batcha, in connection with the 2G telecom scam.
Before March 1, CBI is likely to question heads of all nine companies that got 2G licences in 2007-08. Among the brass of companies who have already been interrogated by the CBI are Reliance ADAG chairman Anil Ambani, Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra and Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot. Shahid Balwa, managing director of DB Realty, which is in a joint venture with UAE-based Etisalat group, was arrested earlier this month.
HFCL holds 36 per cent stake in Datacom Solutions, now renamed Videocon Telecommunications. Videocon, promoted by Venugopal Dhoot, has a majority stake of 64 per cent in the telco, after HFCL sold a part of its equity in Datacom to the Dhoots. Datacom Solutions was among the companies to get a 2G telecom licence in 2007-08. Nahata’s questioning follows that of Venugopal Dhoot and his brother and Rajya Sabha member, Rajkumar Dhoot, yesterday.
Videocon Telecommunications had made ‘false’ declarations to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on its paid-up capital, and is under the CBI lens for getting allegedly undue favour during the award of telecom licences.
Months later, the company had given corrected documents to the government. CBI has questioned the Dhoot brothers as well as Nahata on the anomaly linked to the paid-up capital amount, among other things. Batcha was summoned for questioning yet again today by CBI. Managing Director, Green House, he is suspected to have laundered a part of the money received as bribes in the 2G scam, sources said. The official premises of Green House were raided by CBI on December 15.
Meanwhile, a Delhi court today extended the judicial custody of former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura and ex-telecom minister
A Raja’s former personal secretary, R K Chandolia till March 3.
Kalia Perumal, brother of A Raja, was today questioned for over three hours by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with its own probe in the 2G spectrum scam.
Official sources said Perumal, a businessman, was summoned to the ED office here for his statement regarding the financial dealings of some of the firms he controlled.