CBI mulling option of closing probe into Tata Unitech deal
Both the companies had said that there was no illegality in the land deal in 2007 and no money from the deal was used to bid for spectrum by Unitech Wireless
Jan 12, 2015
Source : The Economic Times

 

NEW DELHI: After re-opening a probe into whether funds from the Rs 1,700 crore Tata Realty-Unitech land deal were diverted for spectrum purchase, the CBI is mulling the option of closing the case again.

The CBI is considering the closure of the case soon on the ground that the Supreme Court had not directed the agency to carry out more investigations into the matter.

The probe was opened afresh last October by former CBI Chief Ranjit Sinha, who had reasoned that if Reliance could be investigated for the same alleged offence, then why no probe had been carried against Tata Realty and Unitech.

Sinha had also informed the Supreme Court about re-starting the probe against the two companies. However, both the companies had said that there was no illegality in the land deal in 2007 and no money from the deal was used to bid for spectrum by Unitech Wireless.

After the retirement of Sinha on December two, the officials probing the case including the Superintendent of Police Vivek Priyadarshi and Deputy Inspector General Santosh Rastogi had written on the file that the matter be closed as there were no set of instructions from the Supreme Court.

It may be mentioned that during the tenure of Sinha, Rastogi had sought recusal from the Tata Realty-Unitech case and sought transfer from the CBI. However, this proposal was shot down by the Supreme Court and Rastogi was asked to continue with the agency.

CBI has reopened an earlier Preliminary Enquiry (PE) to probe an alleged Rs 1,700 crore land deal between Tata Realty and Unitech in 2007.

The SFIO has alleged that the realty deal between Tatas and Unitech in 2007 could have been been meant for funding Unitech's telecom licence issued in January 2008.

The then Director wanted to probe whether the advance given by Tata Realty was used by Unitech for real estate projects or for a telecom licence pertaining to the 2G telecom spectrum allocation scam.

"We have clarified in the past and reiterate that Tata Realty and Infrastructure Limited (TRIL) and Unitech entered into a bona fide real estate deal that had no relation to the 2G licences.

"The transaction between Unitech and TRIL was done with full and proper due diligence, and has been fully explained to all the regulatory agencies," a Tata Realty spokesperson said.

TRIL reiterates that it has comprehensively addressed questions from all Government agencies and fully cooperated with all authorities in their investigations. "TRIL stresses that it is committed to the highest standards of ethics and business conduct."

The CBI had decided to probe this aspect after Reliance Telecom Limited had approached the Supreme Court seeking directions to quash the FIR filed against it in connection with Swan Telecom which was alleged to be the front company of Reliance Telecom Limited (RTL).

As the agency was preparing a reply on RTL plea, the CBI found that no probe had been conducted against Tatas so far and the same was conveyed to the Supreme Court.

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