2G: Delhi Court issues notice to Anil Ambani to appear as witness

30 May 2013


Anil AmbaniA Delhi court today issued a notice to all 2G scam accused on the plea of the Central Bureau of Investigation seeking to call Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG) chairman Anil Ambani and 16 others as witnesses in the case.

The court was told by the CBI that Ambani's statement had been recorded earlier during probe but had not been placed before it as he was not arraigned as witness, according to a  PTI report.

Anil and his wife Tina are among 17 new witnesses that the investigative agency seeks to examine. The investigating agency said the examination of the Ambanis' alleged link to Swan Telecom, one of the firms that benefitted from illegalities in the 2G allotment of licences in 2008.

The notices were issued by special CBI judge OP Saini, after special public prosecutor U U Lalit, told the court their testimonies were 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 3 July as to whether the court would seek a response from the accused on a separate CBI plea seeking to recall Department of Telecommunications (DoT) official Nitin Jain as a witness in the case.

Lalit had submitted during the hearing that the witnesses were required to be called for recording of their statements to ascertain the truth.

He told the court that a number of documents regarding transaction of money had been received from the banks and the witnesses were required to be examined in that context.

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

The prosecutor said, unless and until the court had this part (about money transaction) coming from the top, he did not think the task would be complete.

In addition to Anil and Tina Ambani, the CBI was seeking to call other witnesses including a former advisor to the TRAI, a number of bank officials and other CFSL experts.
According to Lalit, the CBI had recorded Anil Ambani's statement under section 161 of the CrPC during the probe into the case but it had not been placed before the court earlier as the Reliance ADAG chairman was not arrayed as a prosecution witness in the case.

Lalit sought the permission of the court to place Ambani's statement before it today itself however the judge said he would deal with the issue after going through the reply filed by the accused.

According commentators, 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 were accused in the case and had been granted bail after spending nearly seven months in jail.

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