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CBI zeroes in on four scamsters

While two out of four PEs pertain to Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries and Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Communication, one concerns Unitech and the other Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).

The agency has registered a PE into Radia’s conversation with Pradip Baijal, ex-chief of TRAI, allegedly pertaining to his appointment as Chairman of Pipeline Advisory Committee to allegedly favour Reliance Industries. Radia had lobbied for RIL suggesting that this could be a case of ‘some conflict of interest.’ Both Baijal and Radia have been named in the inquiry.

In the second PE, the agency has started an inquiry into Radia’s conversations pertaining to alleged discrepancy in subscriber data base declared by Reliance Communications to Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the sources said, adding that the company has been named in the inquiry. ‘Fudged records and customer data were submitted by ADAG’s Reliance Communications to the TRAI and the BSE which is alleged to have caused a loss to the Government exchequer to the tune of Rs 450 crore. This “appeared to be a serious issue” and thus we lodged an inquiry,’ CBI official said.

The third PE is against Radia, unknown officials of her company Vaishnavi and unknown officials of BHEL in connection with the alleged payment of commission for clearing bills from the public sector undertaking. CBI refused to divulge more information in connection with this PE.

In the fourth PE, the CBI has named Vishal Mehta, the then CEO of Radia-owned Vaishnavi, unknown officials of DoT and unknown officials of Unitech in connection with grant of spectrum to Unitech.

A bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi had identified 23 issues which were framed by an Apex court-appointed probe team on the analysis of the tapped conversations of Radia with bureaucrats, politicians, corporate tycoons and scribes. It then ordered a CBI probe into 14 issues last week.
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