Memory loss is Anil Ambani's defence on 2G spectrum deal

Appearing before a Special Court hearing the 2G scam, ithe ADAG chairman deposed as a prosecution witness, but the CBI began cross-examining its own witness after he \'resiled\' from a statement made during the probe.

Published: 23rd August 2013 07:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd August 2013 01:42 PM   |  A+A-

Appearing before a Special Court hearing the 2G scam, industrialist Anil Ambani on Thursday deposed as a prosecution witness, but the CBI began cross-examining its own witness after he “resiled” from a statement made during the probe. The CBI, which had presented Anil Ambani, chairman of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG), as a witness to buttress its case switched strategy and cross-examined him when he said he hadn’t given any note to the CBI in February 2011, during the probe.

At this stage, Special Public Prosecutor U U Lalit submitted that Anil Ambani was “resiling” from his previous statement and pleaded that he may be allowed to cross-examine him. Special CBI Judge O P Saini allowed the plea. Ambani’s company Reliance Telecom Ltd and three of his group executives are accused in the case. Ambani’s deposition saw him denying that Swan Telecom was a front company of his group RADAG for securing precious radiowaves.

Anil Ambani and his wife Tina were summoned as witnesses in the case on the CBI argument that their testimony might throw light on the alleged investment of over Rs 990 crore by his group companies in Swan Telecom.

Lalit had some documents of AAA Consultancy Services (P) Ltd, a subsidiary company of Reliance ADAG. He questioned Ambani about bank transactions of the company and minutes of Reliance ADAG Board of Directors during 2005-2007.

Ambani responded saying he was unable to recall the sequence of events during the period. However, he confirmed that the documents pertaining to ADAG were not false. At this, Judge Saini asked him whether a company maintains false records also. The record is always a true document. “You do not maintain false records. Your record must be correct,” the judge remarked. “The records should be correct,” Anil Ambani replied. “Sir I want to take a call. First, I do not recall now. Second, minutes are not prepared by me. They are prepared by the secretarial staff. I do not recall and I do not prepare the minutes. I can’t recollect all the business meetings as I keep on attending such meetings on a day-to-day basis,” Anil Ambani added.

Lalit showed another document to Anil and asked him to identify a signature. “Is this the signature of Tina Ambani,” he asked. Tina Ambani is one of the directors of the company. Anil confirmed that the signature was indeed that of his wife, but couldn’t confirm when and in which context it was signed. After the hearing, Anil said, “My wife Tina will appear in the court tomorrow.”

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