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    CBI questions Essar CEO in 2G scam

    New Delhi: Essar Group CEO Prashant Ruia appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for questioning in the 2G spectrum scam on Wednesday.

    The central probe agency is likely to question him about Essar's alleged links with Loop Telecom, which got Unified Access Service.

    The Essar CEO was earlier quizzed about the alleged association of Essar with Loop Telecom which came under scanner in the telecom spectrum's allocation scam case registered by the CBI in October 2009.

    Ruia was called amid allegations that Loop Telecom acted as a front company for Essar which has nearly 33 per cent stake in Vodafone-Essar joint venture.

    If the allegation were found to be true, it would make Loop Telecom ineligible to get telecom licences.

    As per the guidelines, the threshold of cross-holding is below 10 per cent.

    "Essar in is full compliance with DoT licence norms and all other applicable laws. As and when any information is sought Essar will provide the same to the authorities," an Essar spokesperson had said.

    According to the CAG report, Shipping Stop Dot Com (India) Private Limited (later on changed to Loop Telecom Private Limited) submitted its applications for grant of UAS licences for 21 service areas on September 3, 2007 to the DoT.

    However, the company changed the main object clauses in its Memorandum of Association (MOA) of Article of Association (AOA) to include the telecom sector to meet the eligibility criteria only on September 28, 2007.

    The CAG had said that the submission of altered MOA suppressing the fact of non-registration of alterations in the main object clause of MOA/AOA on the date of application was also in the nature of a fraudulent act with the intention of fulfilling the eligibility criterion prescribed for UAS licences.

    Loop Telecom also allegedly made a patently false claim of the paid-up capital of Rs 130.65 crore through their Company Secretary VV Chakradeo while submitting their applications for grant of UAS licences for 21 service areas on September 3, 2007 to the DoT.

    The CAG found the same fictitious with a malafide intention to secure the UAS licences.

    (With additional information from PTI)