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Seemingly unfazed at being ousted from the Asian Athletics Association, scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi on Monday said losing the presidential re-election bid to Qatar’s Dahlan Jumaan Al-Hamad has actually given him a chance to work at the “grassroots” level.
“I have no issues today and I congratulate Mr Al-Hamad for being elected as President. I am rather relieved that I will be able to work at the grassroots level in athletics,” Mr. Kalmadi said after losing the vote during the ongoing AAA Congress in Pune.

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Essar denies all charges in 2G case

Tuesday - May 08, 2012, 11:12am (GMT+5.5)
[+] Text [-]

New Delhi - The Essar Group Monday strongly opposed all charges against it in the second generation (2G) telecom airwaves case and told a CBI special court here that no norm was violated as alleged.

“Wild goose chase” is how Essar's senior counsel Harish Salve described the third set of charges filed against the group by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the case.

Salve told Special Judge O.P. Saini that his clients were dragged merely because of the complex structure of their firms.

The CBI alleged that the promoters of Essar Group were the real investors and beneficiaries of the spectrum and licences issued to Loop Telecom, which was used as a front company by the Essar Group to acquire the 2G licences and spectrum in 2008.

This has already been denied vehemently by the Essar Group. “Helping a relative is not a criminal offence,” Salve said, adding no guideline was violated by his clients.

The hearing will continue Tuesday.

Essar, which already had a 33 percent stake in Vodafone, held substantial equity in Loop and violated telecom licence norms, the CBI chargesheet said.

According to the government auditor, former telecom minister A. Raja was biased while distributing mobile airwaves and operating licences to telecom firms, causing a loss of up to Rs.1.76 lakh crore to the treasury.

Nineteen individuals, including Raja, and six companies are accused in the case. Fourteen people were arrested. Except Raja and former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, all have been released on bail.





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