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Friday, Sep 24, 2021
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In The Dock

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) levels charges of direct conflict of interest and impropriety against cabinet minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) and former minister Manish Tewari (Congress)

In The Dock
In The Dock
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The full text of the release by the AAP

1)      Aam Aadmi Party is revealing the direct conflict of interest of union telecom minister Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad and demands that he should immediately resign, failing which the Prime Minister must remove him from telecom ministry:

Facts of the case: 

Union telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is in receipt of retainership fees from a company of Reliance group (Fine Tech Corporation Private Limited). We are enclosing the invoices raised by Ravi Shankar Prasad on the company of Reliance group from April 2013 to March 2014, total amount billed Rs 84 lakh. Payment is in the form of retainership fee. It appears to be a token of gratification being offered. (We are attaching the receipts with this press release) 

He also held the law portofolio from May 26 this year till November 10 along with telecom. 

Reliance connection: Fine Tech Corporation Private Limited is a company of the Reliance group with its corporate office atReliance Corporate Park, 5TTC Industrial Area, Thane Belapur Road,Ghansoli, Navi Mumbai-400701. It has three directors: Mr.Shankar Natarajan, Mr.Jaishanker Prasad Kanhaiya Lal Bansal, Mr.Rajagopal Subramanian. These three are also directors in various other companies of Reliance Group. 

Reliance is a major telecom player and many questions have been raised on Reliance’s improprieties in the 4G matter.

OUR OBJECTIONS :

The department of telecom has strongly refuted the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG’s) observation that Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Nahata family-owned Infotel Broadband Services Pvt. Ltd, a company that was subsequently acquired by RIL, were shown undue favours, resulting in a loss of more than Rs.20,000 crore to the government.
 

Is the current minister of telecom (Ravi Shankar Prasad) not sitting over a notice that needs to be issued to Reliance Jio with respect to the 4G case. ?

After the Supreme Court notice to DoT on Mr.Prashant Bhushan's case (in April 2014) and other complaints filed to DoT/PM & CVC by other persons - DoT officials prepared a notice to Reliance Jio asking for reasons on why its contract should not be cancelled ?  

Why is  the minister for telecom Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad sitting over this notice for the past three months and not allowing DoT's Access Service Division to issue notice to Reliance ?

  • Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad must immediately tender his resignation from the telecom ministry as he cannot deal with any office whose subject matter is of business interest to Reliance.

  •  It is a clear case of conflict of interest and gross impropriety.

  • Before becoming a union minister, Mr.Ravi Shankar Prasad was a member of the JPC from March 2011 onwards, which examined  matters relating to allocation and pricing of telecom licences and spectrum.

2)      MANISH TEWARI                                                

He was a union minister of state with an independent charge in the Congress-led UPA government from October 2012 till May 2014 : 

He was in a retainership agreement with the RIL even during his tenure as a union minister. 

When his contract for retainership expired on 30th June 2012, Manish Tewari wrote a letter to Mr.Parimal Nathwani (RS member and senior functionary in Reliance) to get his contract extended till 30th June 2015. The contract got extended till 30th June 2014.

We are enclosing the letter written by Manish Tewari to Piramal Natwani requesting for renewal of contract. Also enclosed is the extension of contract letter by RIL.

Payment is in the form of retainership fee. It appears to be a token of gratification being offered. 

Manish Tewari – I & B minster – Reliance has serious interest and holdings in I&B industry.

 Mr Tewari was also a member of JPC which probed the 2G telecom scam :

 These two cases give rise to the following important issues : 

  1. Such former ministers and MPs have been/are in various committees in which are of interest to these companies (Reliance group).
  2. They speak in parliament on issues of interest to these companies (Reliance group).
  3. They shouldn’t be doing any legal work while holding high offices. Also, they must recuse themselves from a public office which deals with the business interest of these companies (Reliance group).
  4. If these ministers have dealt with these cases – it amounts to corruption/gross conflict of interest/gross impropriety.
  5. Our MPs will notify the Ethics committee of the parliament to take up this matter.

Ravi Shankar Prasad's Receipts

Ravi Shankar Prasad by OutlookMagazine

Manish Tiwari's letter to RIL

Tewari Letter to RIL by OutlookMagazine

RIL reply to Manish Tiwari

RIL Reply to Tewari by OutlookMagazine

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