Kanimozhi, the DMK’s Rajya Sabha MP, was on Sunday admitted to a hospital in Chennai after she suddenly fell ill…….
But there are few takers for this explanation.
Since Saturday morning, media and political circles are agog with strong rumours about the impending release of over six audio tapes. These tapes are in connection with purported conversations between Kanimozhi and former additional director general of police Jaffer Sait and between Jaffer Sait and Sharad Kumar Reddy, a former director of Karunanidhi-owned Kalaignar TV.
When real estate major Unitech forayed into wireless telephony, many of its investors were concerned. In hindsight, they were right.
Apart from the company losing money, its managing director, Sanjay Chandra, did substantial time behind bars. For the company, the worst part is the story isn’t over yet.
Unitech figures many times in the Niira Radia tapes, in matters relating to manipulation of its shares, default on loans given by Tata Realty and, of course, 2G telecom spectrum allocation by then minister A Raja — issues that prompted the Supreme Court to ask the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to look into these. The apex court wants a probe into the alleged manipulation in Unitech shares in October 2008, when former corporate lobbyist Radia’s phone was under surveillance by the income-tax department.
Her intercepted conversations with former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s foster son-in-law, Ranjan Bhattacharya, relate to Unitech failing to clear its dues to the Tatas. In the taped conversation, Radia was heard saying the Unitech brass believed Commerce Minister Anand Sharma would help the company once he secured a good position in the Union Cabinet.
Reliance Communications (RCom) has come under the scrutiny of the Supreme Court (SC) after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) alleged that the company has submitted fudged data on subscriber numbers to the telecom regulator, the Trai, and to the stock exchanges to save on its licence fees.
The then telecom minister A Raja had said in the Lok Sabha in 2009 that RCom and its other subsidiaries had also under-reported revenue to the Trai during 2006-07 and 2007-08 to avoid payment of licence fees.
The under-reporting was estimated at Rs 1,000-1,500 crore, which could have caused Rs 250 crore loss to the government.
Telecom operators pay a percentage of their adjusted gross revenue (AGR) as licence fee. So, lower revenue attracts lower licence fee. In 2009, Trai had asked the department of telecommunications (DoT) to conduct special audits of financial accounts of five telecom operators for 2006-08, observing that the companies were under-reporting revenues to avoid payment of licence fee.