Indian investigators probing a 2008 sale of phone licenses may explore the role of Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata and billionaire Anil Ambani, a lawyer for the federal police said.
The Central Bureau of Investigation, which last month submitted charges in the case to a special court, hasn’t yet completed its probe and could still seek more information from the two businessmen, K.K. Venugopal, a counsel for the investigator, told the Supreme Court in New Delhi today. A petitioner asked the court to look into their involvement today.
Ambani, chairman of India’s second-largest mobile-phone operator Reliance Communications Ltd., and Tata last month appeared before an Indian parliamentary panel investigating the sale. Neither were named in the Central Bureau of Investigation’s charges.
Gaurav Wahi, a spokesman for Reliance Communications, didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment. “We are not aware of any such statement,” said an e-mail from Tata Sons Ltd., the group’s holding company.
The investigators are probing a sale of spectrum at what the government’s auditor described as “unbelievably low” prices, depriving the treasury of as much as 1.4 trillion rupees ($31 billion) in revenue.
Former telecommunications minister Andimuthu Raja, two ministry officials and half a dozen company executives are on trial in New Delhi after the CBI found they had “entered into a conspiracy” to award phone permits to ineligible companies.
Reliance Communications fell 5.6 percent, the most since Feb. 18, to 89.05 rupees at the 3:30 p.m. close in Mumbai. The shares have lost 39 percent this year, compared with an 11 percent fall in the Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark Sensitive Index.