HC stays NBWs against top bosses of Unitech Ltd

unitech-indiaIn a relief to three top officials of beleaguered real estate major Unitech Ltd, Delhi High Court today stayed the execution of non-bailable warrants against them issued by a trial court on a private complaint alleging delay in handing over of flats to buyers.

Justice Mukta Gupta granted the relief to Unitech Ltd’s Chairman Ramesh Chandra and Managing Directors Ajay Chandra and Sanjay Chandra after their counsel assured the high court that they would appear before the trial court on the next date of hearing on October 26.

“Considering the fact that counsel for the petitioners says that petitioners (three officials) will appear before the trial court on the next date of hearing on October 26, till the next date of hearing the execution of non-bailable warrant (NBWs) is stayed,” the court said.

Senior advocates Sudhir Nandrajog and Dayan Krishnan, who appeared for the Chandras, told the court that trial court had on September 5 summoned the three on October 4 in the complaint case by various investors who have alleged delay in handing over of flats in a housing project in Noida.

Nandrajog said since the summons were not served to them, they were unable to appear before it on October 4 and the trial court had then issued bailable warrants against the trio and fixed the matter for further hearing on October 17.

“The summons issued against us was not served. Then, bailable warrants were issued and that too was not served on us. On October 17, the trial court issued NBWs against us.

Neither summon, nor bailable warrant were served,” he said.

To this, the court, which also sought the reply of state by December 15 on the pleas filed by Chandras through their counsel Saket Sikri, asked “Why these bailable warrants were not served?”

Responding to this, the counsel said “they were out of Delhi due to business exigencies as they keep travelling due to their work”.

However, the counsel appearing for the state claimed that summons were served upon them and after they did not appear before the trial court, warrants were issued. He said the summons were affixed on their residential address.

During the hearing, Nandrajog countered the state’s claims saying it was not clear from the records as to when the summons were served as they were not present in their home. He said without execution of bailable warrant, the trial court should not have issued the NBWs against them.

Krishnan, representing Ramesh Chandra, said his client was not involved in day-to-day affairs of the company and, keeping in view his age, he should be exempted from personal appearance before the trial court.

The court said, “How can this court grant him exemption.

He has to appear before the trial court and seek bail”.

However, it said, “after appearance before trial court on October 26, in case the petitioner files application seeking exemption from personal appearance in future, the court will consider it as per the law”.

SC notice to Unitech MD

supreme courtThe Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear CBI’s plea for cancellation of bail granted to Sanjay Chandra, MD of Unitech Ltd, in 2G case for allegedly trying to “sabotage the trial” and issued notice to him.

A bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi granted two weeks time to Mr. Chandra to file his response on CBI’s petition alleging that he had misused the relief given to him by approaching the then CBI prosecutor A K Singh and trying to “materially interfere” with the prosecution in an “attempt to influence” the conduct and outcome of the trial.

The CBI has sought recall of the apex court’s November 23, 2011 order by which he was granted bail.

It has alleged that conduct of Mr. Chandra was questionable during the period of bail as he was found holding discussion with the prosecutor about crucial witnesses.

“It is apparent the freedom granted to accused by means of enlargement from custody has been misused by him and that allowing him to continue unabated will be detrimental to the conduct of this trial and to the greater public interest,” CBI has said in its application.

His conversation with the prosecutor, who was removed from the case, reflected that the entire strategy of CBI in dealing with the case was compromised, the agency has said.

The CBI said it had registered a Preliminary Enquiry report which named Chandra and prosecutor Singh.

The investigation also suggested that the conversation took place between the two when the statement of crucial witness A K Srivastava, Department of Telecom’s former Deputy Director General (AS) was being recorded in the court, it has said.

The agency has also stated that the CFSL report has also confirmed that the recorded conversation was neither tampered with nor any editing was done and it was the voice of Chandra and Singh.

(Source: IANS)

CBI to give Radia tapes to 2G accused

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will by July 12 provide taped coversations of corporate lobbyist Niira Radia to all those accused in the 2G spectrum scam case, the probe agency said in court Thursday.

The investigation agency, while responding to the plea by the accused, said before special CBI judge O.P Saini: “The accused have said the transcript of the conversations in the tape will help them in arguments…”

Tapes containing Radia’s conversations with former communications and IT minister Raja and some industrialists and journalists have surfaced. The tapes were submitted as part of the evidence in a public suit over the 2G spectrum allotment row.

The accused in the spectrum scam, currently in Tihar Jail, include high profile names such as former telecom minister A. Raja, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Shahid Balwa, Raja’s aide R.K. Chandolia, Swan Telecom’s Vinod Goenka, Unitech Wireless Sanjay Chandra and three ADAG executives – Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara.

The CBI had also named Cineyug Films’ Karim Morani as well as DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV chief Sharad Kumar as co-conspirators after it traced an illegal money trail of Rs.214 crore in the scam.

2G scam: Morani’s bail plea dismissed

A Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here Monday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Cineyug Films’ founder Karim Morani, named as co-conspirator of 2G spectrum allocation scam, saying his health report was normal.

“In view of the medical condition of the accused being normal and stable, I am satisfied that no case for anticipatory bail on medical grounds is made out. The application is without merit and same is dismissed,” CBI Special Judge O.P. Saini said.

Morani, who was exempted from personal appearance till now, will have to be present in court Tuesday.

Defence counsel Siddharth Luthra argued that Morani, 62, was suffering from various ailments for the last 31 years.

Luthra said Morani had undergone angioplasty in 1991, 1993 and 1997, and had open heart surgery in 2007.

He also said that Morani had received a sixth bypass graft and required reboring of his two major vessels. He had also been advised complete rest due to a chest pain.

“My client company is a big name in the field of music and entertainment. He has done a perfectly legal commercial transaction,” Luthra added.

Rejecting his bail plea, the court said that as per Mumbai’s J.J. Hospital’s report, Morani is stable.

Luthra had submitted the medical report from J.J. Hospital, as was demanded by the court May 10 when he was exempted from personal appearance due to ill-health.

Meanwhile, Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai has also described Morani’s condition as stable, with blood pressure at 120 by 70 mg, which is also normal, added the judge.

“I may also add that in case of need, proper medical facilities are available in Tihar Jail itself and if a prisoner requires any further treatment, he is immediately taken to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital or AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences),” he said.

“I may add that co-accused Surendra Pipara is already being provided best of medical facilities at AIIMS,” the judge said.

The CBI’s first chargesheet April 2 had named, besides former communication minister A. Raja, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa, Raja’s aide R.K. Chandolia, Swan Telecom’s Vinod Goenka, Unitech’s Sanjay Chandra and three executives of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group – Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara.

In its April 25 supplementary chargesheet, the CBI named DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV managing director Sharad Kumar as co-conspirators after it traced an illegal money trail of Rs.214 crore in the scam.

The supplementary chargesheet also named Karim Morani as well as Asif Balwa and Rajiv B. Aggarwal of Kusegaon Realty.

The probe agency claims it has unearthed an illegal money trail that moved from Dynamix to Kusegaon and then on to Cineyug, all part of the DB Group, that promoted Swan Telecom, ending with Kalaignar TV, majority owned by Karunanidhi’s family.

Except for Morani and Pipara, who is in judicial custody at AIIMS here, all those named in the CBI chargesheets are lodged in Tihar Jail.

Kanimozhi’s bail plea verdict on May 20

In temporary relief for the politically battered first family of Tamil Nadu, a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court Saturday deferred till May 20 its verdict on the bail plea of DMK MP Kanimozhi and Kalaignar TV chief Sharad Kumar in connection with their alleged involved in the spectrum case.

CBI Special Judge O.P. Saini, after seeing the crowd in the jampacked court room, said: “The court will pronounce its verdict on the bail plea of the duo on May 20.”

The court had reserved the order on their bail application May 6.

Kanimozhi was accompanied by her mother Rajathi Ammal and her husband Aravindan to mark her presence before the Judge Saini. DMK parliamentarian T.R. Balu was also present.

The CBI had named Kanimozhi, daughter of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi who suffered a rout in the assembly elections, and Sharad Kumar as co-conspirators in its April 25 supplementary chargesheet after it traced an illegal money trail of Rs.214 crore.

Asif Balwa and Rajiv B. Agarwal of Kusegaon Realty, also named as co-conspirator in the case, were also present in the court room.

The fifth co-conspirator, Cineyug Film’s Karim Morani was not present as he got exemption from personal appearance due to his ill health. However, he will have to appear before the court May 18.

The money trail allegedly moved from Dynamix to Kusegaon and then on to Cineyug — all part of the DB Group that promoted Swan Telecom – ending with the Karunanidhi family-run Kalaignar TV. The channel had earlier stated that the Rs.214 crore was a loan and paid back with interest.

DMK MP A. Raja has been accused of allowing the sale of spectrum licenses to telecom companies at low prices in 2008 when he was communications minister, allegedly causing huge losses to the exchequer. He is in jail.

Raja, his aide R.K. Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura and Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa were present in the court room. They are charged with conspiring to sell 2G spectrum waves to select companies at rock bottom prices.

Vinod Goenka of Swan Telecom, Sanjay Chandra of Unitech and two officials of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group – Gautam Doshi and Hari Nair and – who were also named in the chargesheet were present in the court room.

Surendra Pipara of Reliance, who is in judicial custody, was not produced in the court room as he is undergoing treatment for a heart problem.

Raja, 11 others formally charged in 2G spectrum case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Saturday filed its first chargesheet of 127 pages with 80,000-page annexure against nine people and three firms in the case involving the allocation of second generation (2G) telecom spectrum.

The chargesheet, brought in seven steel boxes, was filed in the special court of CBI Judge O.P. Saini.

Among those named are former communications minister A. Raja, his personal aide R.K. Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddhartha Behura, Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa, director Vinod Goenka and Unitech Wireless director Sanjay Chandra.

Raja has been accused on several counts.

Three officials from the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group — Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara — as also three companies, Unitech, Reliance and Swan telecom, were also named as accused in the allocation of spectrum.

Among the individuals, four are already in judicial custody. The court issued summons to the others asking them to appear before it by April 13.

The three officials of the Anil Ambani Group were named in the chargesheet for allegedly concealing the in-eligibility of Swan Telecom for the grant of spectrum, said one of the investigative officers in the case.

Unitech, too, the chargesheet alleged was ineligible as the company did not have the necessary amendment in its memorandum and articles of association to enter the telecom business.

“The public is reminded the above findings are based on the investigation done by CBI and evidence collected by it,” the probe agency said. “Under the Indian law, the accused are presumed to be innocent till their guilt is finally established after a fair trial.”

The accused have been chargesheeted under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, including cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.

“We have 125 witnesses on whose information the agency has attached 654 documents to the chargesheet in the case,” said a CBI official.

“In the entire episode, the government incurred a loss of Rs.30,984 crore. Swan and Unitech telecom were the two companies totally ineligible for the licence allocation,” the official added.

“We are also investigating Kaliagnar TV, Asif Balwa and Rajiv Aggarwal, who are the directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables, and Cineyug and Green House promoters,” said senior public prosecutor specially called from Guwahati, A.K. Singh.

“They are likely to be named in the supplementary chargesheet that will be submitted by end-April,” Singh said, adding, the name of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Private Ltd has since changed to Kusegaon Realty.

Regarding Raja’s close associate Sadiq Batcha, who was found dead under mysterious ciscumstances at his Chennai home last month, the probe agency said that they were tracing the alleged kick-backs in the scam that could have been routed through him.