Free Press Journal

Essar personnel exercised control in Loop Telecom Ltd: CBI


New Delhi: CBI today told a special court that Essar group offficials were exercising control in Loop Telecom Ltd (LTL), a “front company”, to bag 2G spectrum licences in violation of a provision under the Unified Access Services Licences (UASL) guidelines.

Advancing the ongoing final arguments in the case, Special public prosecutor Anand Grover said that people may have nominal role in a firm but the question is who exercises the direct control or who have “significant influence” in the policy-making of a company. “In this case, every person who was exercising control or was having significant influence was a person from Essar group of companies, which was in violation of clause 8 of UASL guidelines” he said.

As per clause 8 of UASL guidelines, “No single company or legal person, either directly or through its associates, shall have 10 per cent or more equity holding in more than one licensee company in the same service area for same service.”

Grover told Special CBI Judge O P Saini that during the course of his argument he will try to establish that the “front companies” were actually associate firms directly controlled by Essar group, in which there was more than 10 per cent equity share holding.

He said that purpose of clause 8 of UASL guidelines was to encourage competition in the telecom sector. The ongoing arguments in the case remained inconclusive and would continue on August 12.On August 3, CBI had told the court that LTL was a “front company” for Essar Tele Holding Ltd (ETHL) and that violation of clause 8 of UASL guidelines by the accused firms was a crucial factor.

It had said that from every count, the court can see that clause 8 was violated. Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters, Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Essar Group Director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf are facing trial in the case, along with three telecom firms — LTL, Loop Mobile India Ltd and ETHL.