Charges against former Reliance Communications officials on call manipulating

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) has filed charges against then director of Reliance Infocomm Manoj Modi and five others for an alleged scam where international phone calls were passed off as local, causing huge losses to the exchequer.

According to CBI sources, the charges under Criminal Conspiracy Act were filed in the court of additional chief metropolitan magistrate at Egmore in Chennai.

Also named as accused are Akhil Gupta, Shankar Adawal, Pankaj Powar, K.R. Raju and Bhagwan Das Khurana of Reliance Infocomm. The CBI said they had conspired to mask international calls as local.

The investigative agency said the case pertained to the time when Reliance Infocomm was still a functional company and part of the undivided Reliance Industries group.

The company’s name was changed after the Ambani brothers – Mukesh and Anil – split their businesses and the telecom business went to the younger brother. The company was since renamed Reliance Communications.

In September 2006, when similar charges were framed, a spokesperson for the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group had said that the issue pertained to a period prior to the reorganization of the group and that they had nothing to do with it.

‘The officials accused by the Central Bureau of Investigations are from the Reliance Industries Ltd group and have nothing to do with the Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group,’ a spokesperson for the company had said.

Even though the case pertained to earlier, it came to light a year after the split in the Reliance empire, when the premier investigative agency launched a thorough probe into the possible loss to the exchequer on account of overseas calls being passed off as local.

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