Deposing as a prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of the 2G spectrum allocation case before special CBI judge OP Saini, former TRAI chairman Nripendra Mishra referred to the two letters written by him in 2007 to the DoT requesting to “give weight” to the TRAI recommendations
New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had ‘vigorously’ pursued with the Department of Telecom (DoT) its 2007 recommendations for low entry fee from telecom companies for allotment of the second generation (2G) spectrum licences, reports PTI quoting former TRAI chairman Nripendra Mishra in a Delhi court.
Deposing as a prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of the 2G spectrum allocation case before special CBI judge OP Saini, Mr Mishra referred to the two letters written by him in 2007 to the DoT requesting to “give weight” to the TRAI recommendations.
“I have been shown a letter and its contents are correct and it bears my signature. Through this letter I requested, inter alia, to give weight to the recommendations of the authority (TRAI) and to precess the same in reasonable time frame,” he said.
“I have been shown another letter dated November 6, 2007 written by me to the Secretary, DoT, D S Mathur and the same bears my signature. Its contents are correct. I was pursuing the issue of consideration of recommendations of TRAI by the DoT vigorously,” Mr Mishra added.
He said competition in the telecom sector and ensuring level playing field was a concern in TRAI’s recommendations.
Mr Mishra made the statements while being cross-examined by Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa’s counsel and said that some of the recommendations made by TRAI were considered subsequent to his letters.
Mr Mishra, however, added, “The consideration of TRAI recommendations by DoT was part of its duties and my letter may not be seen as catalyst”.
He, however, failed to recollect if during his tenure as TRAI chairman between 2004 and 2009 telecom companies sold their equities.
Mr Mishra said “I do not remember if during my tenure as DoT secretary, Shyam Telecom sold its entire equity in Hexagon for Rs430 crore and this transaction for the sale of equity shares”.
“I do not recollect if during my tenure as chairman TRAI several telecom companies sold their equities in both primary and secondary markets,” he said.
He also said allocations of the 2G spectrum licences were to be done in accordance with the Unified Access Services Licence (UASL) guidelines of 2005.
“It is correct that UASL guidelines dated 12 December 2005 were the extant guideline during my tenure as chairman, TRAI, between 22 March 2006 and 22 March 2009 and the DoT guidelines are binding on TRAI also,” he said.
Regarding difference of opinion between DoT and TRAI on a provision of TRAI Act dealing with recommendations on need and timing for introduction of new service providers, Mr Mishra said he had not written to DoT for putting on hold the 122 telecom licences issued during the tenure of former telecom minister A Raja in January 2008.
Mr Mishra answered several questions relating to the teledensity and competition in the telecom industry and said growth in teledensity in rural areas was ‘largely’ because of the competition.
He said the concept of level-playing field was a “prime concern” of TRAI in suggesting the regulatory framework for telecom services and government's policy was in “larger interest” of public and revenue maximisation was not its sole objective.
Mumbai-based Navneet Khosla has been paid Rs6.06 lakh of the money he had invested with SpeakAsia by the All India SpeakAsia Panellists Association. The Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai police is chasing the money trail and is suspecting AIPSA to be supported by SpeakAsia
The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) probing the multi-crore Speak Asia scam is hot on the money that was used to repay, by the All India SpeakAsia Panellists’ Association (AIPSA), to a defrauded panellist. The investigating agency is chasing the money trail and is suspecting AIPSA to be in touch with the multi-level marketing (MLM) company. Sources confirm that this might also lead them to the whereabouts of the absconding top bosses of the Singapore-based MLM scheme.
Mumbai-based Navneet Khosla has been paid Rs6.06 lakh, which he had invested in the company, by the AISPA. He is the only panellist, so far, who has been paid back his invested amount after the scheme collapsed. However, Mr Khosla has not withdrawn his complaint against the company. AISPA, a representative group, claims to safe guard the interest of the panellists of SpeakAsia.
“We have doubt that they are in touch with the master-minds behind Speak Asia. The company did not pay to the complainant. He was paid by AISPA, which collected money from the panellists. But it does not look as simple as this. Many questions are yet to be answered,” said an EOW officer close to the investigation, on the condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile suspecting his arrest, Ashok Bahirwani, general secretary of AISPA, on Tuesday moved an anticipatory bail application in a local Mumbai court. “The matter has been adjourned till 3rd April and till then stay has been granted on his arrest,” said the officer familiar with the Speak Asia investigation.
According to a media report, Mr Bahirwani had written a letter EOW stating he is ready to co-operate with them in the investigation of the MLM scheme, Speak Asia. But the EOW replied that they would arrest him within 72 hours for non-cooperation. The report also states that Mr Bahirwani had been given a 72-hour notice before his arrest by the Bombay High Court after he approached the court for protection from the EOW. It is also reported that some of the panellists are crying foul over harassment by the EOW.
“I have now come to realize that the EOW is not interested in my co-operation they are only interested in my submission and in my surrender before them. The EOW wants me to go before them on my knees, with folded hands and head bowed in abject submission, with fear in my heart,” wrote Mr Bahirwani on AISPA’s website. He was referring to public prosecutor’s reply that he is not co-operating,
However, the investigating agency told Moneylife that, “AISPA is falsely spreading the information that Speak Asia, a MLM company, collapsed because of the EOW. This repayment by AISPA has nothing to do with our investigation. We have many complaints. Still many are coming and lodging new complaints against Speak Asia.”
Speak Asia duped around 23 lakh investors to the tune of Rs2,000 crore. It promises a weekly income, merely on filling online survey forms. Initially the company paid the money to its panellists but stopped all the payments since May 2010. After complaints were lodged, Speak Asia came under the radar of the EOW.
NOTE on Comments:
We are closing comments on this article because majority of the comments are coming from panellists who are using abusive language, which is not acceptable. In case, you think, you have a genuine comment and want to voice it, then kindly write us to [email protected].
If Nifty holds to today’s gains, it may move to 5,460
We had mentioned in the past two days that any close above previous day’s high may signal a change in trend. Today the Nifty not only closed above its previous day high, it has also closed above its 20-day moving average of 5,346. If the index manages making higher high, we may see it reaching the level of 5,460. The National Stock Exchange NSE saw a volume of 77.03 crore shares.
The market opened almost unchanged from its previous close on the back of the Asian bourses trading mixed in morning trade. US stocks settled lower overnight on concerns about China’s economic outlook. The Nifty opened eight points lower at 5,267 and the Sensex opened 15 points down at 17,301.
The market touched its intraday lows in early trade as the indices drifted lower on selling pressure in metals, power, realty and auto sectors. At the lows, the Nifty fell to 5256 and the Sensex went down to 17,276. However, the market gained momentum at round 10.20am and began its gradual upmove.
Across-the-board buying from mid-morning trade onwards saw all sectoral indices trade higher. The gains continued in the second half of trade, supported by the key European markets trading with gains of around 0.50%.
Sustained institutional buying saw the market hitting its intraday high towards the fag end of the session with the Nifty touching 5,372 and the Sensex at 17,623. The market closed a tad below those levels.
The Nifty finished 90 points higher at 5,365 and the Sensex surged 286 points to close at 17,602.
The advance-decline ratio on the NSE was in favour of the gainers at 1161:489.
Among the broader indices, the BSE Mid-cap index surged 1.95% and the BSE Small-cap index climbed 1.23%.
All sectoral indices settled higher. They were led by BSE Capital Goods (up 3.59%); BSE Realty (up 3.54%); BSE Bankex (up 2.44%); BSE Power (up 1.86%) and BSE TECk (up 1.82%).
The top five scrips on the Sensex were Larsen & Toubro (up 4.46%); DLF (up 4.01%); Tata Steel (up 4%); TCS (up 3.25%) and ICICI Bank (up 3.07%). The main losers on the index were Hindalco Industries (down 1.01%); ONGC (down 0.35%); ITC (down 1.08%); Sun Pharma (down 0.17%) and Hero MotoCorp (down 0.07%).
Jaiprakash Associates (up 5.18%); Reliance Infrastructure (up 5.13%); Ranbaxy (up 4.81%); Axis Bank (up 4.66%) and L&T (up 4.42%) led the gainers on the Nifty. Cairn India (down 1.03%); Hindalco Ind (down 0.87%); Sun Pharma (down 0.68%); ONGC (down 0.48%) and Wipro (down 0.43%) were the key laggards on the index.
Concerns about the slowing growth in China resulted in the Asian bourses closing mixed for another day. The outlook led Australia cut its commodity sales forecast. However, Zhu Min, deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund opined that the slowdown in China would enable the country to bring in a new economic model that would be “more sustainable and equitable”.
The Shanghai Composite added 0.06%; the Jakarta Composite rose 0.35%; the KLSE Composite gained 0.31%; the Straits Times was up 0.10% and the Taiwan Weighted settled 0.12% higher. On the other hand, the Hang Seng dipped 0.15%; the Nikkei 225 declined 0.55% and the Seoul Composite dropped 0.73%. At the time of writing, the major European bourses were up with modest gains, after opening higher. Also, the US stock futures were in the positive, ahead of the release of existing home sales data.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net buyers of shares totalling Rs111.09 crore on Tuesday while domestic institutional investors were net sellers of stocks amounting to Rs120.35 crore.
Gitanjali Gems, India’s largest integrated branded jewellery manufacturer and retailer has revived talks with L Capital, the private equity arm of the world’s largest luxury group LVMH, for a strategic investment. Both the companies were in talks a year ago but had not progressed over the structure of the business. In the last one year, Gitanjali has been working on restructuring its businesses, which is close to completion. The restructuring investment is expected to as high as $100 million. The stock settled 0.07% higher at Rs370 on the NSE.
Man Infraconstruction has secured work orders aggregating nearly Rs 113 crore for construction of residential towers in Mumbai and Pune respectively from Tata Housing Development Company and Flagship Infrastructure. The stock ended 3.46% up at Rs169 on the NSE.
Tilaknagar Industries’ board has approved the conversion of convertible warrants held by Amit Dahanukar—promoter of the company. The company’s board approved the allotment of 42,84,236 equity shares against conversion of warrants held at a premium of Rs63 per share (each warrant convertible into one equity share of face value of Rs10 each). The stock rose 1.36% to close at Rs59.75 on the NSE.