SC seeks CBI’s stand on bail pleas of 3 Reliance officials

Their bail applications came up for hearing a day after all the 17 accused completed their arguments opposing the framing of charges against them in a special court exclusively set up to hold their trial in the 2G case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the bail pleas of three top executives of Reliance ADAG firm, arrested for their alleged involvement in the second generation (2G) spectrum scam, reports PTI.

Agreeing to hear their pleas, a bench headed by justice GS Singhvi asked the investigating agency to file its reply on the bail pleas of ADAG group MD Gautam Doshi, president Surendra Pipara and senior vice-president Hari Nair.

The trio have challenged the rejection of their bail pleas by the Delhi High Court which, on 23rd May had said, "The gravity of the offence itself is sufficient to deny bail". They are in jail since 20th April.

Their bail applications came up for hearing a day after all the 17 accused completed their arguments opposing the framing of charges against them in a special court exclusively set up to hold their trial in the 2G case.

The CBI had in its first charge-sheet filed on 2nd April specified the role of Reliance Telecom (RTL) and its three top officials for their 'complicity' in the 2G spectrum scam.

Mr Doshi, Mr Pipara and Mr Nair, along with the company, have been charge-sheeted for entering into a criminal conspiracy to cheat the government by getting licences in an illegal manner.

The agency had alleged that RTL used Swan Telecom, a firm ineligible for getting the licence, as its front company to get it.

"Swan, at the time of application, was an associate of RTL. Investigations have also disclosed that Tiger Trader Pvt Ltd, which held maturity stake in Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd, was also an associate company of Reliance ADA Group.

"Both the companies had no business history and were activated solely for the purpose of applying for UAS licences in 13 telecom circles," the first charge-sheet in the case had said.

"Investigation has revealed that in Jan-Feb 2007 accused Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair had, in furtherance of their common intention to cheat DoT, structured /created net worth of company Swan Telecom Pvt Ltd out of funds arranged from Reliance Telecom," the agency said.

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Tata Steel an example of job creation in US through FDI

"This foreign investment is supporting more than 5 million jobs throughout the 50 US states, including those right here at Thomas Steel Strip. That's why we want to attract more firms, such as Tata, to America," acting US commerce secretary Rebecca Blank said

Washington: A top Obama administration official on Thursday praised Tata Steel as a shining example of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the United States that has created jobs in the economy, reports PTI.

"It's a story worth listening to, a story that needs more characters like Tata Steel," acting US commerce secretary Rebecca Blank said after a tour of Thomas Steel Strip Corporation, a member of the Tata Steel Europe Group and a manufacturer of cold-rolled strips usually used as steel castings for batteries.

In her remarks, Ms Blank highlighted the significance of FDI, citing Tata Steel as an example of foreign companies whose investments in the US strengthen economic growth and job creation.

With FDI supporting more than 5 million American jobs, Ms Blank discussed a new government-wide initiative, dubbed SelectUSA, that seeks to cut federal red tape for domestic and foreign investors, remove barriers to new investment and boost business growth in the United States.

"In order to create all the jobs we need, we have to attract more businesses like Tata to our shores and do more to keep great US firms here," Blank said.

"That's why SelectUSA was created. It's the first government-wide initiative to attract and retain new business investment-investment such as Tata Steel-and the jobs that come with it in the United States. SelectUSA is vital to help more businesses grow and create long-lasting economic value in the US," she said.

"Today, we have $2.3 trillion of foreign direct investment in America. And foreign firms that locate in the US are more likely to export and typically pay their workers higher wages on average," she said.

"This foreign investment is supporting more than 5 million jobs throughout the 50 US states, including those right here at Thomas Steel Strip. That's why we want to attract more firms, such as Tata, to America," Ms Blank said.

"It's easy to see why they would want to be here. The American workforce is one of the best educated, most productive and most innovative in the world," she said.

After the tour, Ms Blank discussed the importance of strengthening America's education, infrastructure and innovation capacity as ways to rebuild its economic foundations, create jobs and enhance global competitiveness.

She also underscored the steps the administration has already taken to achieve these priorities, ranging from investing in community colleges and funding transportation projects across the country to launching the president's National Export Initiative and exploring ways to shorten the time taken for approval of patents, a media release said.

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CCI approves merger of UTV Software with Walt Disney

Subsequent to the buy-out of public shareholding by Walt Disney Company, UTV Software Communications will be delisted from both the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange

New Delhi: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Thursday cleared the proposed merger of media and entertainment firm UTV Software Communications with Walt Disney (South East Asia) at about Rs2,000 crore, reports PTI.

The CCI approved the proposed combination as "it is not likely to have any appreciable adverse effect on competition", said an order.

UTV Software had last month announced that Walt Disney would buy the stake of promoter as well as public in the software company.

As the proposal needed the nod of the CCI, UTV Software had approached the Commission on 1st August.

"Based on the facts on record and the notice of the proposed combination filed by the acquirer (Walt Disney) under sub-section (2) of section 6 of the Competition Act, and the examination of the businesses involved .... the Commission, hereby, approves the proposed combination," the CCI order said.

The CCI further observed that while the Disney Group is in the business of character merchandising and publishing through Disney India, the UTV Group is engaged in broadcasting.

Subsequent to the buy-out of public shareholding by Walt Disney Company, UTV Software Communications will be delisted from both the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange.

Currently, Walt Disney is the majority shareholder in UTV Software Communications with 20,497,994 equity shares, accounting for a 50.44% stake.

The board of directors of UTV Software has approved the delisting proposal and the acquisition of shares from the public at a price not exceeding Rs1,000 per equity share.

Post-delisting, Walt Disney would also acquire 80,53,480 equity shares representing 19.82% of the current paid-up equity share capital of UTV Software Communications from the other promoters of the company at the same price as discovered pursuant to the delisting offer.

At Rs1,000 per share, the deal could be valued at around Rs2,000 crore. The company's other promoters include Rohinton Screwvala, Unilazer Exports and Management Consultants, Unilazer (Hong Kong) and Zarina Mehta.

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