As the Central Bureau of Investigation prepares to file yet another charge-sheet in connection with the 2G spectrum scam, the agency on Friday questioned Loop Telecom chief executive Sandip Basu for the third time.
Officials at CBI told the media in unofficial interactions that Basu was once again grilled about the ownership and shareholding pattern of Loop, which the agency suspects acted as a front for the Essar Group to grab spectrum.
Basu was summoned to the CBI headquarters in New Delhi. Accompanied by senior company officials, he was quizzed for nearly six hours.
The agency says Loop acted as a front for the steel-to-telecom Essar Group in obtaining UAS (unified access service) licenses in 22 'circles' during the tenure of jailed former telecom minister A Raja.
The CBI had in February questioned Essar Telecom chief executive Prashant Ruia in connection with the spectrum allocation scam. The agency did not rule out yet another round of questioning for Ruia before a third charge-sheet is finalised.
The agency is awaiting details from Mauritius, to which it has sent letters rogatory seeking information about the ownership pattern of Loop.
If Essar – already a major telecom player in the country through its partnership with Vodafone Plc of the UK – is found to have owned more than 10 per cent in Loop, it would be in violation of rules that stipulate that a telecom operator cannot own over 10 per cent of another operator licensed for the same circle.