Reliance Group official retracts statement on Swan bank account

As per his earlier statement, provided by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in March, Subramaniam has purportedly said that he had issued a letter for opening a bank account for Swan Telecom on the basis of "telephonic instructions" from Hari Nair.

Nair, also an official in the Reliance Group, is among the 14 individuals named as co-accused in the case. The probe agency claims that Swan Telecom was a front company for the Reliance Group and got undue favours, which has been vehemently denied.

"I signed documents Ex Pw 1/A and 1/B as there was a board resolution in our favour, including myself. On seeing letter Ex Pw 1/B, I do not recollect as to under whose instructions I signed this letter," Subramaniam said Friday.

The documents mentioned by him are exhibits that pertain to the letters sent to the Fort branch of HDFC Bank in Mumbai for opening a bank account for Swan Telecom.

In the charges filed in April, CBI had also named as co-accused Reliance Group's Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair. Three companies, in addition, were also named -- Unitech Wireless, Swan Telecom and Reliance Telecom, as co-accused.

Subramaniam said he recognised Doshi, Pipara and Nair but denied having worked with them.

"The aforesaid three persons are present in the court. I have never got an occassion to work with any of them," the official, who works as vice president of Reliance Capital, told the special court of Judge O.P. Saini.

When the defence asked if the earlier statement was written by him, Subramaniam said it was deafted by a some assistant or stenographer of Inspector Shyam Prakash. "I do not remember as to in how many pages my statement ran."

The formal trial in the case, in which former telecom minister A. Raja is the prime accused, started Friday.

The court had summoned two other witnesses for examination Friday -- A.N. Sethuraman of Reliance Group and Vinod Kumar Budhiraja of Etisalat DB Telecom. They are among the 28 witnesses whom the CBI wants to examine in the first instance.

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