2G case: Judge asks 'hostile witness' Anil Ambani to try and remember
Reliance ADA Group Chairman Anil Ambani's failure to recall details about his group companies and their financial transactions while deposing in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case on Thursday prompted the prosecutor to declare him a hostile witness and the judge to quip. "You are forgetting a lot. Try to recall something."
Reliance ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani on Thursday appeared as a prosecution witness before a Delhi court trying the 2G spectrum case and said he does not "recall" the various board meetings of a company, said to be an associate of RADAG, as the minutes were "not prepared" by him
Ambani's failure to conclusively recall details about his group companies and their financial transactions prompted the Delhi court to advice him to remember something.
"Sahab aap kuch zyada bhool rahe hai. Kuch to yaad karne ki koshish kijiye (sir, you are forgetting a lot. Try to recall something)," Special CBI Judge O P Saini told Ambani.
Appearing before the Special Court hearing, the industrialist may have deposed as a prosecution witness but CBI began cross-examining its own witness after he "resiled" from a statement made during the probe.
The CBI, which had presented Anil Ambani as a witness to buttress its case switched strategy and cross-examined him when he said he had not handed over any note to the CBI in February, 2011 during the probe.
At this stage, Special Public Prosecutor U U Lalit submitted that Ambani was "resiling" from his previous statement and pleaded that he may be allowed to cross-examine him. "Heard and allowed," said Special CBI Judge O P Saini, allowing CBI's plea.
Ambani's company Reliance Telecom Ltd and three of his group executives are accused in the case. Lalit's plea came when the 54-year-old corporate baron recalled that he had visited CBI in February, 2011 but did not hand over any note to the CBI officer.
When the court asked him if he was under any "threat, pressure or coercion today from any quarter", he said, "I am not under any threat, pressure or coercion."
"Yes sir, I am making my statement voluntarily and as per my own free will," Ambani told the judge when he was asked, whether he was now making his statement voluntarily and as per his own free will.
He replied in the affirmative to a query from the judge that he knew the consequences of giving a false statement and that he could be prosecuted and punished under the law.
Asked a question by CBI related to alleged associate company of Reliance ADAG, 54-year-old Ambani said he was unable to recall if it was a part of his group company.
To this, the court advised him that such answers can also go against him. "You must be knowing the name of promoter of the companies. This is just an advice for you. It can go against you also that you even don't know the names of your companies. So be careful," the court said when Ambani told him that there was a large number of firms in his group and he does not recall.
During his deposition, when Ambani told the court that he was not able to recall most of the answers, the judge told him that he was "under obligation to tell the truth to the court" and he was turning "hostile".
"Gawah to hostile hai kuch nahi keh raha (witness is hostile, he is not saying anything)," the court remarked.