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Indian minister and telcos charged in 2G scandal

Ambani and Tata face questioning
Mon Apr 04 2011, 11:43

A NUMBER of key telecom figures in India have been charged in a scandal over alleged rigging of sales of 2G phone licences and further charges are expected.

One of the officials caught up in the debacle is Andimuthu Raja, who held the role of telecommunications minister before being forced to resign last year. India's Central Bureau of Investigation charged him for involvement with the improper sales, which cost the state around $39 billion.

A number of companies that allegedly were wrongly awarded licences have also been charged. These included Reliance Telecom, Swan Telecom and Unitech Wireless. Another eight individuals classed as "co-conspirators" were also charged. All parties including the former minister have denied the charges.

The scandal also allegedly involves two top businessmen in India, Anil Ambani, the chairman of Reliance ADAG, and Ratan Tata, the chairman of Tata Group. Both men will be questioned by a parliamentary panel over the next few days, according to the Financial Times.

Many of those charged have been ordered to appear in court on April 13. Meanwhile, the Central Bureau of Investigation continues its probe of Indian telecom firms, with at least 31 companies suspected to have been involved in the affair. µ


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