2G case: Delhi HC reserves verdict on corporate honchos’ bail pleas

Opposing the corporate executives’ bail pleas, CBI’s special public prosecutor UU Lalit submitted the corporate bodies and individuals were direct beneficiaries of the entire spectrum deal and they were involved in a conspiracy along with Mr Raja to obtain benefit from the grant of spectrum licences

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today reserved its order on bail pleas of five corporate executives who were arrested for their roles in the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation scam allegedly involving former telecom minister A Raja and Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi’s MP daughter Kanimozhi, reports PTI.

Justice Ajit Bharihoke reserved his order on the pleas after CBI’s special public prosecutor UU Lalit, along with counsel for various corporate honchos, concluded their arguments.

Opposing the corporate executives’ bail pleas, Mr Lalit submitted the corporate bodies and individuals were direct beneficiaries of the entire spectrum deal and they were involved in a conspiracy along with Mr Raja to obtain benefit from the grant of spectrum licences.

He said the former minister had advanced the cut-off date for submitting applications for spectrum allocation and also altered the licensing policy to favour Swan Telecom and Unitech.

Mr Lalit also pointed out that some firms were floated only to transfer the money that changed hands following grant of spectrum licences to beneficiary telecom firms and they were closed once their purposes were served.

The corporates were part of a conspiracy where huge amount of money was transacted, said Mr Lalit adding they had also forged some documents to obtain spectrum in their favour, he said.

Former Attorney General Soli J Sorabjee had sought bail for Reliance ADAG managing director Gautam Doshi arguing that Reliance officials’ roles in the scam was minimal, limited to “structuring” a front company.

“Even if we take CBI’s allegations at their face value, the role of Reliance officials in the so-called massive scam was minimal,” he had argued.

Citing a brief CBI note, Mr Sorabjee said the only allegation against the Reliance officials was that they had “structured” a front company, Swan Telecom, with an alleged intention to cheat the DoT to bypass its licensing guidelines.

“Structuring a company is not an offence and, moreover, I am not here in the main thing (conspiracy),” he said.

“Look at their records. They have no criminal past, they were not arrested during the probe. These are relevant factors which cannot be thrown in the dustbin,” he said.

Mr Sorabjee’s stand was taken also by senior counsel Rajiv Nayar and NK Kaul, who represented two other Reliance officials Hari Nair and Surendra Pipara respectively.

Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, swearing by the innocence of his client, Swan Telecom director Goenka, argued CBI has not found even a single document of his firm, signed by him, relating to the 2G licensing issue.

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DoT to allocate landline number for pesky callers, relief soon

A DoT official involved in the process said the new number series to be allocated for tele-marketing companies will be of 10-digits. The numbers will be easily identifiable and will be similar to the number series allocated for mobile phone connections

New Delhi: Telephone users can expect relief from pesky calls as the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is working on a new landline number series for telemarketing companies which can be identified, reports PTI.

“TRAI chairman met us. We are working on the issues.

Details are being worked out. Hope to issue (landline) numbers soon,” R Chandrashekhar, secretary, DoT, told PTI when asked about status of landline number series allocation for tele-marketing companies.

Mr Chandrashekhar did not commit any time line for issuing these identifiable number series.

A DoT official involved in the process said the new number series to be allocated for tele-marketing companies will be of 10-digits.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) in its regulation to curb unsolicited calls and SMSes has asked DoT to allocate identifiable series similar to the number allocated for mobile phone connections.

DoT allocated 140 number series for mobile phone connections of tele-marketers.

However, allocating similar series for landline connections which would have worked out to be 13 digit numbers could have resulted in technical, billing and security issues.

Once DoT completes the process of finalising the new 10-digit number series for landline, the series will be sent to security agencies for approval.

The number will be finally given to telecom operators after security agencies clear the plan.

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HUL FY’11 consolidated net up 6.46% to Rs2,296 crore

Sales jump 10.8% to Rs19,691 crore; company declares total divided on Rs6.50

Hindustan Unilever, the country's largest household products and consumer goods manufacturer, today posted a 6.46% increase in consolidated net profit to Rs2,296.05 crore for the year ended 31 March 2011. That compares with a consolidated net profit of Rs2,156.63 crore in the previous financial year, the company stated in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

HUL announced a total dividend of Rs6.50 per equity share of one rupee face value for the year. It had paid an interim dividend of Rs3 per share on 15 November 2010, PTI reports.

In 2010-11, the company's consolidated net sales stood at Rs19,691.02 crore, a 10.8% jump from Rs17,764.27 crore in the previous fiscal.

On a standalone basis, HUL's net profit in 2010-11 was at Rs 2,305.97 crore, up 4.7% from Rs2,202.03 crore in the year-ago period. Standalone net sales increased to Rs 19,401.11 crore during the reporting period from Rs 17,523.80 crore in the previous financial year.

While HUL did not announce the consolidated figures for the quarter ended March 31, 2011, the company's standalone net profit for the three months was at Rs569.15 crore, a marginal 2% decline from Rs581.20 crore in the year-ago quarter. Net sales in the quarter increased by 13.5% to Rs4,899.35 crore from Rs4,315.75 crore in the previous corresponding period.

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