2G: Anil Ambani denies any knowledge of Swan Telecom

Reliance ADAG chairman Anil Ambani today told a special CBI court in Delhi trying the 2G spectrum allocation case that he was not aware of any company named Swan Telecom.

Appearing as a prosecution witness, Ambani was asked by the prosecution if he knew this firm, which was given telecom spectrum and licence in 2008. He answered, "I'm not aware of any company called Swan Telecom."

The main allegations of the probe agency, prompting it to call Ambani as a witness, is that Swan Telecom was a shell company of the Anil Ambani Group, ineligible for telecom spectrum and licence - a matter that has been strongly denied by the defence.

Special Judge O P Saini had, on Wednesday, declined the plea of Reliance Telecom against summoning Ambani and his wife Tina as prosecution witnesses and said their examination "will not cause any prejudice to the accused facing trial in the case".

The court had postponed their examination last month. Subsequently, on 19 July, summons was issued to Anil and Tina Ambani for recording their statements on 22 and 23 August, respectively.

The 54-year-old Ambani, who looked relaxed and composed, had reached court much ahead of time. Standing in the witness box in a packed room, he declined any knowledge about Swan, but said he had indeed met telecom ministers a number of times.

"I met the late Pramod Mahajan, A Raja, Kapil Sibal ... multiple times in connection with the developments in telecom sector," he told the court.

Ambani also said he did not recall each and every meeting of AAA Consultancy Services (P) Ltd when special public prosecutor U U Lalit showed him the minutes of meetings the firm held in 2005-06.

"I attend a large number of meetings and I do not recall. I am going by the records only," he told the judge.

To this, the judge told Ambani that although he does not recall about these meetings, in which he was present, the records could not be false.

"But you do not maintain false records. Your record must be correct," the judge said.

"The records should be correct," Ambani answered. "But, sir, I went to take a phone call. One I do not recall now. Second, minutes are not prepared by me. It is prepared by the secretarial staff. I do not recall and I do not prepare the minutes," Ambani said.

Ambani's examination-in-chief by the prosecution will continue.