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2G case: Anil, Tina Ambani to depose as witness

Jul 19, 2013 03:54 PM IST Business Business
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New Delhi: Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group Chairperson Anil Ambani and his wife Tina will be summoned as prosecution witnesses in the 2G spectrum scam allocation case after a special court on Friday accepted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) petition to summon the duo and 11 others in the case.

The CBI in its plea said that the Reliance ADA Group Chairman's testimony is needed to explain why Reliance invested over Rs 900 crore in Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, facing trial in the case along with its promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka. But the defence is going to move Delhi High Court against the order. The court also allowed 11 others to be examined in the case.

"I find that examination of these witnesses is necessary for just decision of the case," Special CBI Judge OP Saini said adding "the application is allowed in total and all 13 are summoned."

Anil Ambani had been questioned once in 21011 before the plea was filed by the CBI. Witnesses will start to testify in the case from July 22 but the date when Anil will be called in not yet clear.

However, if Anil's statement is clear then Tina will not be required to depose in the case, said the CBI.

The agency contended Anil Ambani, who is the Chairman of Reliance ADA Group, will be able to "throw light" on the issues of the alleged investment by his group companies.

Anil Ambani is required to be examined regarding the decisions on incorporation of the alleged shell companies, special public prosecutor UU Lalit had said, adding that although he may not have been a part of the decisions taken on these issues, he would have been aware about these matters.

According to the CBI Anil and his wife had "unrestricted powers" so far as cheque issuing authority is concerned and Tina Ambani had presided over the relevant meetings.

The advocates appearing for the three top executives of Reliance ADAG - Gautam Doshi (Group Managing Director), Surendra Pipara (Group President), Hari Nair (Senior Vice-President) - who are facing trial in the case had opposed CBI's plea saying that the delay on the agency's part in moving this application shows that it is not genuine.

The defence counsel had argued that reasons for the delay could be explained but CBI has not given any explanation regarding this.

The court had on July 17 reserved its order on CBI's plea for summoning the Ambanis and others as prosecution witnesses.

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