The CBI has roped in the Enforcement Directorate to help it in locating the money trail and violations of Foreign Exchange Management Act and stake-holding patterns in some of the firms which acted as front for other telecom companies
New Delhi: Zeroing on the criminal conspiracy relating to the second generation (2G) scam among corporates, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is preparing a list of all ineligible telecom companies which had got the licences in 2008, reports PTI.
Besides, the agency is conducting a "microscopic examination" of a deal between Tata Group's real estate and infrastructure development arm Tata Realty & Infrastructure and Unitech whereby the latter had received a loan, which the agency claims, have been diverted, official sources said.
Corporate lobbyist Niira Radia is likely to be summoned again to the CBI in connection with the case for allegedly playing an important role in the deal, they said.
The CBI has roped in Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials to help it in locating the money trail and violations of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and stake-holding patterns in some of the firms which acted as front for other telecom companies.
Sources said the CBI has decided to send Letters Rogatory (LRs) to two countries-Cyprus and Norway-to find out source of funding of telecom firms who were awarded spectrum.
A Letters Rogatory is a formal request issued by a competent court to a foreign court and processed by the ministry of external affairs on behalf of the investigative agencies to obtain information about individuals and entities.
"A list of ineligible firms is being drafted and its findings on criminal conspiracy/culpability will be finalised within two weeks' time," a CBI official said.
The CBI, which has been directed to file a charge-sheet by 31st March by the Supreme Court, is likely to question DMK MP K Kanimozhi, the daughter of Tamil Nadu chief minister K Karunanidhi, in connection with the scam, they said.
Sources said CBI sleuths have found irregularities in funding Rs214 crore to Kalaignar TV, a regional channel operational mainly in Tamil Nadu in which Karunanidhi family members allegedly have majority stakes, by DB Realty.
Earlier, the CBI had questioned R Krishna Kumar and Sanjay B Ugale, chairman and managing director, respectively, of Tata Realty & Infrastructure and Anil Sardana, former CEO of Tata Teleservices Ltd.
The CBI had also questioned Sanjay Chandra of Unitech on issues relating to offloading of majority stake to Norway based company Telenor after getting 2G spectrum license.
The agency is probing whether Tata Real Estate had paid Rs1,600 crore to Unitech for a land deal at a time when the real estate company was applying for 2G licence in 2007.
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had in its report presumed losses to the tune of Rs1.76 lakh crore in distributing spectrum to certain telecom firms due to certain procedural lapses.
The commercial to stop discrimination against HIV patients in offices should have addressed the misconceptions about AIDS that lead to this discrimination
The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) has released a semi-finished commercial to stop discrimination against HIV patients in offices. In the TV ad, an executive called Mohit has been sacked due to him being found HIV positive. (Shouldn't the chap consider suing?).
All his colleagues stand up for him, and as a protest, they all submit their resignations to their boss (who is the cad who ordered young Mohit to be kicked out). They cite silly reasons. Someone is not happy with his work chair, another one doesn't like the office cafeteria, a third one finds the tube lights irritating. One bugger even wants to sign up as an extra in Bollywood. When the stunned boss wants to know why everyone is quitting on stupid grounds, one feisty lady exec tells him it's because he terminated Mohit's services on stupid grounds.
Of course, since this is an ad, the meanie, insensitive boss is immediately reformed. Not only does he welcome the HIV positive Mohit back to work, he himself tenders his resignation out of shame. The core message in the advert is this: 'Discriminate against those people who discriminate against those suffering from AIDS.'
Hmm. It's an interesting ad, but I think it's a good job half done. While it will help create awareness about HIV and hopefully encourage those discriminating against the victims of the disease to think again, the commercial actually needs to do more work. Maybe the plan is to deal with it in the sequel, or at least I hope that's the case.
Here's what's missing: Any boss who sacks an employee because she/he has AIDS, does so because of his own lack of understanding of the disease. And not because he's callous or insensitive. He most likely considers AIDS to be infectious through the air and through a slight touch (a la influenza). And that misconception is what frightens the chap into discriminating against employees who are HIV positive. Ergo, the communication has to address this unfounded fear of his, frontally and brutally. Simply telling him not to discriminate isn't going to be enough. The boss needs to be told WHY he mustn't discriminate. In that context, NACO's ad is incomplete.
To give you a parallel, it's like my mom asking me to be positive about the nation's future. (It's a tough ask, trust me!) Vis-a-vis explaining to me why I should be positive. (Er, not to be confused with HIV positive!)
The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament says SEBI acted hastily in awarding the contract to NSDL that led to wasteful expenditure of about Rs12 crore
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament has criticised market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for wasting money on instituting and later abandoning its much-touted 'market participant identification number' (MAPIN) scheme.
The PAC has in a report said that SEBI acted hastily in awarding the contract for MAPIN database to the National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL), which ultimately led to wasteful expenditure of Rs11.54 crore, as MAPIN was eventually suspended.
In July 2009, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had also deplored SEBI for awarding the database preparation work related to MAPIN to NSDL which resulted in 'unfruitful expenditure' of Rs11.54 crore of investors' money.
SEBI's former chairman CB Bhave was heading NSDL when the market regulator launched MAPIN. He was a big supporter of MAPIN and NSDL would have been a big beneficiary of the identification programme.
Earlier, in June-July 2005, after a six-member committee, appointed to re-examine the use, structure and feasibility of the MAPIN database-bowing to popular opinion-recommended an end to biometric identification for investors. Mr Bhave was one of the members who left the committee before it could draft and submit a report.
MAPIN registered fingerprints along with a photograph. Many retail investors believed that the use of fingerprints and photographs (used worldwide for identification of criminals) would be a punishment for honest investors, as no trickster would be so stupid as to undertake fraudulent transactions on his own ID. The other factor was that actual trading, at the time, did not involve biometrics and there was no way of verifying the fingerprints and photograph of an investor.
Besides, there were other avenues like depository accounts, brokers, permanent account numbers (PAN) and bank account numbers, available to regulators to track an investor and his investments.
In the first round of MAPIN, the stock market regulator issued about 4,00,000 UIDs, mostly to senior officials of various companies, institutions and brokerages, at a charge of Rs300 per ID.
The PAC, working under the chairmanship of Murli Manohar Joshi, submitted its report titled "Unfruitful Expenditure of Investors Money (SEBI)" to Parliament, which specifically mentions that the contract for MAPIN was awarded to NSDL without any competitive bidding.
Noting the concern about the infrastructure and data still lying idle with NSDL, the Parliament committee told SEBI to secure both the infrastructure and data without any further delay and keep it in safe custody so as to avoid its misuse.
The PAC said, SEBI should explore alternate schemes by completing all technicalities, including seeking public opinion through the media. It should be a priority for SEBI, as this can safeguard the interests of investors and provide credibility to the market regulator as well, the PAC added.