Videocon got 2G licence through forgery: Balwa

Videocon chairman Venugopal Dhoot got the licence and start-up spectrum for second generation (2G) telecom services through forgery, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa alleged in a special court here Tuesday.

“Dhoot flashed the ID card of Rajkumar Dhoot who is his brother and member of parliament and also member of some telecom committee in parliament,” Balwa’s counsel Majid Memon said in the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court.

“Because of this he was given preference and entered the Department of Telecom (DoT) first and hence got the license,” he told the special court presided over by Judge O.P. Saini.

Asking why the CBI was not probing Dhoot’s role, he said: “He cheated the DoT posing as Rajkumar Dhoot, then why is the CBI not probing this matter… why is it being ignored?”He Memon also denied the CBI’s allegation that Balwa was an insider.

“If I assume I was an insider then why has Swan not got Haryana and Rajasthan circles, which are the most lucrative? Delhi is not a lucrative circle. Where is the question of I being a blue-eyed baby of a minister (former telecom minister A. Raja)?”

Balwa also spoke and said he was the one who submitted the Letter of Intent first as he was “agile”.

“I ran that day, took the staircase when all the other people got stuck in the elevator. A major scuffle took place outside the room that day. You cannot blame me as I am agile and submitted the LoI in time,” said Balwa.

Balwa had Monday said the CBI was selectively targeting some firms in the 2G spectrum case. He also asked how could he have cost the exchequer when the prime minister and Communications Minister Kapil Sibal have said that there was no loss in the 2G case.

Videocon was among the nine new companies that got 2G licences in 2008. The CBI has charged 14 accused and three companies of causing a loss of Rs.30,984 crore to the exchequer by selling the scarce resource, also called radio frequency that helps carry telecom signals, to private players cheap.

Besides Balwa, the accused include DMK MP Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV’s chief Sharad Kumar, Cineyug’s Karim Morani, his cousin Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal, who are directors of Kusegaon, and Unitech Wireless’s Sanjay Chandra.

2G auction in continuity with NDA policy: Raja

Defending his role in the allocation of 2G spectrum, former communications minister A. Raja Monday said the decision to auction the scarce radio frequency was a continuity of the policy of the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

“I have only implemented what I have inherited. Dayanidhi Maran (communications minister from 2004-07) resigned, so I became the minister,” Raja’s counsel Sushil Kumar said before special CBI judge O.P. Saini.

The CBI Saturday concluded its arguments on the framing of charges in the 2G phone spectrum case, charging the 14 accused and three companies of causing a loss of 30,984 crore to the exchequer by selling the scarce resource, also called radio frequency that helps carry telecom signals, to private players cheap.

The accused also include former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura and Raja’s personal aide R.K. Chandolia, DMK MP Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV chief Sharad Kumar, Cineyug’s Karim Morani, Swan Telecom’s Shahid Usman Balwa, his cousin Asif Balwa and Rajeev Agarwal, who are directors of Kusegaon, and Unitech Wireless’ Sanjay Chandra.

The other accused are Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara of Reliance Group, and Vinod Goenka of Swan Telecom. In addition, the three companies are DB Realty, Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireles.