Court issues summons to Anil, Tina Ambani in 2G case

A Delhi court Saturday issued summons to Reliance ADA Group chairman Anil Ambani and his wife Tina Ambani to appear as prosecution witnesses before it next month in the 2G Spectrum allocation case.

While Anil has been summoned on August 22, Tina has been asked to appear before the court on August 23.

According to court sources, special CBI judge O.P. Saini has taken on record the list of witnesses to be called for recording of evidence submitted by the agency and issued fresh summons to them.

Besides Anil and Tina Ambani, the CBI has given the names of Reliance Energy Ltd officials Anita Gokhale and Kamalkant Gupta, CFSL experts Deepak R. Handa and Vijay Verma and also a metropolitan magistrate.

The court had on July 19 allowed CBI’s plea to make Anil and Tina Ambani prosecution witness in the case as their testimonies may throw light on alleged investment of over Rs 990 crore by his group companies in Swan Telecom, facing trial in the case along with its promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka.

It had said CBI’s plea to summon Ambani, his wife and 11 others as prosecution witnesses was essential for arriving at a just decision in the case.

The court issued the summons to the couple after Ambani, who was scheduled to depose before it on July 26, had sought exemption from personal appearance on the ground that he has “pre-scheduled” business engagements.

Ambani had said that he received the summon on July 23 and “owing to extremely short notice of just two days,” it would not be possible for him to appear before it and he would appear before the court any day after August 15.

On July 25, the Supreme Court had refused to grant an urgent hearing on the plea of Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL), an accused in the case, challenging the trial court’s order summoning Anil and Tina as prosecution witnesses in the case.

The apex court has posted RTL’s application for hearing on Monday before a special bench, comprising justices Singhvi and K.S. Radhakrishnan, which is hearing all the matters pertaining to the 2G scam.

The trial court had allowed Anil Ambani’s exemption plea for July 26.

The court had said testimonies of Anil and Tina Ambani are required to prove the facts “pertaining to incorporation of shell companies as some of the witnesses examined earlier have not been able to do so.”

It had dismissed the contentions of the counsel for the accused persons that CBI’s plea “suffers from the vice of delay,” saying the process of examination of prosecution witnesses is still underway.

RADAG’s company, RTL, is an accused in the case. Three top Reliance ADAG executives Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair are also facing trial in the case.

CBI has alleged RTL used Swan Telecom, an ineligible firm, as its front company to get 2G licences and radio waves.

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