Witness Claims Prior Knowledge of 2G Letters of Intent

New Delhi
Witness Claims Prior Knowledge of 2G Letters of Intent
A prosecution witness in the 2G spectrum allocation case today told a Delhi court that he was aware "beforehand" that Department of Telecom (DoT) would issue its letters of intent (LoIs) to eligible firms for Unified Access Service Licences (UASL) on January 10, 2008.

Arun Kumar Dalmia, a businessman who was earlier working as an advisor with Allianz Infratech (P) Ltd, which had applied in September 2007 for the UAS licences in 22 telecom circles, said he used to meet some DoT officials for processing of his firm's application and from them he came to know that LoIs would be issued on January 10, 2008.

"I used to meet some officers of DoT in connection with applications of our company from whom I came to know about the issuance of LoIs on January 10, 2008, either on January 7 or 8, 2008," he told Special CBI Judge O P Saini.

Dalmia, during his cross examination, said officials of other telecom firms like Datacom, Idea also used to visit DoT.

"When I used to visit DoT office, officials of Datacom, Idea etc were also coming to DoT for enquiring about the same. Other companies had also come to know beforehand that LoIs would be issued on January 10, 2008," he said.

Dalmia, whose recording of statement concluded today, said that in DoT, he mainly used to meet Aseervatham Achari, former additional private secretary of ex-Telecom Minister A Raja, and used to enquire as to what should he do as his firm had applied for the licences.

"I had enquired from Achari as to what should I do as our company had applied for UAS licences and he (Achari) told me to meet A K Srivastava (a senior official of DoT).....Achari telephoned A K Srivastava and I accordingly met Srivastava.

"Achari had requested A K Srivastava to render necessary help to me in regard to our applications. I was in touch with the DoT officials before the date of issuance of LoI's that is January 10, 2008," he said.

Dalmia testified that it had also been appearing in the media since September-October 2007 that DoT would issue the LoIs.

During his cross examination, he said LoIs or rejection letters were given to the telecom firms by the DoT on January 10, 2008 without any discrimination and all the persons were coming in the conference hall at Sanchar Bhawan comfortably.

"Whether old or young or women, all were coming comfortably without any pushing around. Age or physique did not make any difference. From the reception area of the DoT, people were going inside very smoothly," he said.

Dalmia said he was aware that all the firms were getting their funding arrangements and other documentations ready since October 2007 in anticipation of issuance of LoIs in January 2008.

He said Allianz Infratech (P) Ltd had filed five applications on September 3, 2007 and 17 applications on September 5 for securing the UAS licences for 22 circles.

Dalmia said he knew that Allianz Infratech (P) Ltd had sold its entire stake to Swan Telecom (P) Ltd, an accused firm in the 2G case.

Besides Dalmia, the court also recorded the statement of Spice Global Investments (P) Ltd's Vice President (Corporate) Akhilesh Kumar Saxena.

Saxena, whose recording of statement concluded today, said Spice Communications Ltd, one of the group companies, had applied for UAS licences in 20 telecom circles in 2006 following which in January 2008, the firm was granted licences for four circles namely Delhi, Haryana, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh.
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