Reliance ADAG chairman’s Anil Ambani gave an intriguing reason for not cooperating with the trial hearing in the 2G spectrum case in a Delhi court. Ambani turned a hostile witness after deposing in court on Thursday and said he could not ‘recall’ the various board meetings of a company, Swan Telecom, an associate of RADAG, as the minutes were not prepared by him. Because he had received no relief from the Supreme Court, which had directed him to depose before the prosecution in the ongoing trial of one of the biggest corruption scandals to rock the country, Ambani, although he was compelled to take the witness stand for the first time, nevertheless, deflected the questions by claiming memory loss, a unique and novel reason for not acquiescing to the prosecution’s allegations.
The CAG report on telecom scam had given a staggering number as the revenue loss incurred by the public exchequer owing to the arbitrary allotment of 2G spectrum licences during the notorious stint of A Raja as the telecom minister, and had listed Reliance telecom, and its front, Swan Telecom, as major beneficiaries of the scam. However, Anil Ambani promptly wasted the court’s time by affronting the judiciary and claiming lack of recollection of the minutes of the various company board meetings during 2005-06, although he was shown the minutes by the special public prosecutor UU Lalit.
Anil Ambani had been, until now, leaving no stone unturned to escape deposing before the court, although his plea had been turned down by the apex court. Albeit he was forced to depose at last, all he showed was a stupendous disregard for the functioning of the judiciary, a pillar of democracy, along with the executive and the legislature. On the other hand, his wife Tina Ambani, who also appeared before the court on Friday, went one step ahead and claimed that because she was a ‘housewife’, she didn’t have any knowledge of the goings on of the telecom companies. Clearly, the corporate couple considers the trial a grand joke and have no real intention of cooperating with either the CBI or the prosecution.
In fact, the 54-year-old industrialist’s outright denials in response to the questions and non-committal replies to others forced the CBI lawyer to declare that the billionaire had retracted from his earlier statements given before the probe agency. Evidently, Ambani’s selective amnesia should not stand in the way of delivering justice and the CBI must try harder to gather concrete and irrefutable evidence against the illicit beneficiaries of the telecom scam.