Physical agility determined seniority in 2G allocation: CBI

Physical agility determined seniority in 2G allocation: CBI

"Physical fitness of the applicants became the deciding factor in the grant of licenses," Senior advocate and CBI prosecutor U U Lalit told Special Judge O P Saini.
Balwa, who is in jail since his arrest in Mumbai on February 8, has moved the bail application saying he has been "unfairly" targeted by CBI and committed no offence.

The idea behind setting up four counters at 'Sanchar Bhawan' on January 10, 2008 for grant of letter of intents (LoIs) to firms including Swan Telcom negated the FCFS policy adopted for the grant of UAS licenses, Lalit said.

"What is it that determined seniority was not the date of application but your agility. It was about how agile, energetic and fit enough you are to reach the counters (set in Sanchar Bhawan) first," he said.

"This particular device was adopted to favour Swan and Unitech. If they were to go by seniority, Delhi circle would have gone to anybody. People were clamouring for lucrative regions. Nobody was interested in regions like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh. If I want the best of the lot, the cherry, I need to go to the counter first," he said.

"To sum up, so far as Shahid Balwa is concerned, he and Vinod Goenka were in charge and responsible for the affairs of Swan Telecom, which received favours due to all these gimmicks. Advantage of Rs 3,600 crore is enormous.

"Propensity of this person (Shahid Balwa) and reverse money trail itself is indicative that he is not entitled to benefit of his release on bail," he said.

The prosecutor also referred to the chargesheet to buttress his allegations that Swan telecom, promoted by Balwa, was nothing but a front company of Reliance ADAG to circumvent the then telecom policy which debarred the usage of dual technology by existing players.

Balwa and Vinod Goenka came on the board of STPL, promoted by Reliance ADAG after Reliance got back its money put in as subscription to preference shares in STPL.

"The sum and substance is that a company which, to start with, was not eligible to make an application for spectrum license was thus transfered to Balwa and Goenka," he said.
Raja entered into a conspiracy with others to favour various firms including Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Private Ltd.

The court has now posted the matter for hearing on May 18 when counsel for Balwa would advance arguments on the bail plea.

The fact that Swan had already got a demand draft of Rs 1,658 crore ready showed its propensity in the crime, the prosecutor said.

Highlighting the "foul play", he said as per the seniority list, Tata Teleservices and Idea Cellular, which were placed at second and third position respectively, could not get the LoIs.

Dealing with the routing of bribe of Rs 200 crores to Kalaignar TV by the Dynamix Balwa group, he said "This is a beautiful case where you get advantage and money starts flowing down the line.

"When press takes note of it, documentation begins. But the actual payment of Rs 200 cr which reached its destination becomes bothersome and so the money starts flowing back after the FIR is lodged."

Meanwhile, Karim Morani of Cineyug Films moved an application seeking exemption from personal appearance on health grounds, which was allowed by the special court, which, on May 12, would hear arguments on his bail plea.

The DoT had received 575 applications for UAS licence till October 1 2007, the original cut-off date, CBI had said.

Later, through a press release the last date for submission of the applications was preponed to September 25, 2007, it said.

On the same day, DoT posted an announcement on its website that those who apply between 3.30 pm to 4.30 pm would be issued LoIs, the charge sheet said.