Thursday, February 10, 2011

Law must catch those who think they are above law: SC

New Delhi:The CBI on Thursday informed the Supreme Court that it arrested Shahid Balwa, India director of Etisalat DB Telecom, after he repeatedly refused to cooperate in investigations into the 2G spectrum scam. "Balwa was arrested and brought to questioning after he refused to join investigations," senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for CBI and Enforcement Directorate, informed a Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly. 
   Balwa is being questioned by CBI on alleged investments linked to the spectrum scam reaching Kalaignar TV through a circuitous route.
   The court was irked by Balwa's refusal to join the investigations and the fact that he featured as one of the 500 richest Indians in the Forbes list. It said, "We have a large number of persons who think they are a law unto themselves. The law must catch them and it must be done expeditiously. Merely because he is in the list of Forbes millionaires, it does not mean the law will be lax towards him."
   Venugopal said the CBI had made inquiries about his antecedents and investments abroad. "We had sought assistance from Interpol to get information about his relatives in Hong Kong. But Interpol was of little help.
   Now, we have approached Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) for information," he said. FIEO is the apex body of Indian export promotion organisations set up jointly by government of India, ministry of commerce and trade and industry in 1965.
   It represents Indian entrepreneurs in the global market. Petitioner NGO's counsel Prashant Bhushan repeatedly requested the court to direct CBI to probe the alleged ownership of Swan Telecom by Reliance ADAG group.
   He said it was owned surreptitiously through Tiger Trustees and then the equities were offloaded. "Why has the CBI questioned only four officials and not Anil Ambani," asked Bhushan.

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