CBI Probe/JPC Enquiry into Mahajan-Reliance Nexus sign now

11th March, 2005

The Honourable Prime Minister
& The Honourable Chief Justice of India
New Delhi


Dear Prime Minister

On behalf of ourselves (persons mentioned herein) and millions other retail investors in India and in particular investors of Reliance Industries Ltd, and all citizens of India, we Mr Maneesh Rane, Ms Sujata Pandit, Mr B N Rathod, Ms Hema R Chopra and Mr Ashok Ramnathan all residents of New Delhi/Mumbai, demand a DETAILED CBI PROBE/JPC ENQUIRY INTO THE ALLEGED RELIANCE-MAHAJAN NEXUS/TELECOM SCAM. (Or any other Commission/Committee of Enquiry sufficiently empowered to investigate and probe the same).

You are fully aware of the ongoing Media exposes on the above. Open allegations are being made that some individuals and organizations have enriched themselves illegally by subverting the law and flouting established rules and guidelines relating to Telecom, ADC (Access Deficit Charge), CLI, Call forwarding and the Security of the Nation at large. Some politicians are also named and this has created a controversy which certain individuals/organizations/political parties are trying their very best to hush up. WE CITIZENS OF INDIA DEMAND TO KNOW THE TRUTH and hence request your personal intervention in this matter. We request that the Supreme Court of India, follow up and monitor this investigation and the officers conducting this investigation report only to the Supreme Court/Chief Justice of India

As citizens of India and tax payers of this glorious democracy, we demand that those who have worked against the people and government of India, particularly the common man, to enrich their own pockets illegally, be brought to book after a thorough and detailed investigation and severely punished according to the law. Simultaneously, we request you to ensure that those who are innocent are honorably exonerated and their names and family pride restored. A probe of the nature demanded by us will ensure both that the guilty are exposed and punished and those who are innocent and whose names are being dragged into the controversy are publicly exonerated and their names and reputation cleared.

We are attaching two complaints written by us to SEBI and the CBI in this regard which seem to have fallen on deaf ears.


Maneesh Rane (and others above named)


The Director
The Central Bureau of Investigation



We would like to draw your kind attention to the several articles appearing in The Asian Age, The Indian Express and other publications regarding the activities of Reliance Infocomm and Reliance Industries Ltd., and their friends and other business associates, particularly the article referring to Friday 26th February 2005, captioned, "CBI PROBES RIC OTHERS", which states that the CBI has begun investigations into the working/activities of RIC and other major telecom companies.
With reference to the above, we Mr Maneesh Rane, Ms Sujata Pandit, Mr B N Rathod, Ms Hema R Chopra and Mr Ashok Ramnathan all current residents of New Delhi/Mumbai, wish to inform you and complain as follows:

1. The instance or instances of RIC re-routing International calls and passing them off as local ones is well known. Orders/judgments have already been passed by TDSAT which are in public domain. We do not wish to elaborate and dwell on this further as much has been written about this and your office is already aware of this fraud. What we wish to do however, is to officially complain in writing about this fraud perpetuated by RIC and others in criminal conspiracy with each other to defraud the Government of India of crores of rupees. By passing of International calls as local ones, RIC has committed cheating, breach of trust, fraud and forgery and we request you to investigate this and find out the persons responsible for the same and under whose orders/instructions such illegal activity was carried out and even openly advertised in the newspapers. (The ads were termed as Home Country Direct calling.) We are enclosing a list of newspaper cuttings to help you in your research and investigation. While institutions like the TRAI and DOT may be only concerned with the issues of revenue loss, etc, the mis representation (of caller id) by RIC is a criminal offence. It is, in our opinion A claiming/masquerading to be B and mis appropriating the funds/income of B, which are all criminal offences. Besides this was done on a mass scale in an organized manner, which was pre-planned and pre thought of, with the criminal intend to defraud various other entities and organisations and also the Government of India of crores of rupees. WHILE SMALLER/LOCAL OPERATORS WHO OPERATE ILLEGAL TELEPHONE EXCHANGES AND RE ROUTE CALLS ARE IMMEDIATELY ARRESTED BY THE LOCAL POLICE M/S RELIANCE INFOCOMM, THEIR DIRECTORS AND PROMOTERS SEEM TO GO SCOT FREE. While fines are levied and paid by the accused organisations, this money is indirectly collected from the public who have no choice but to shell out the same or face disconnection of their telephone/electricity service.

2. While the above is already known and may already be under investigation by your office, there are a some illegal activities perpetuated by RIC which havent yet come out in the open. We wish to inform you the RIC is indiscrimately and also randomly tapping telephone lines of it's own subscribers and subscribers of other networks that may have to pass through RIC gateways. This means that RIC has a database of "difficult customers/persons" - people who may be inconvenient to their organisation and others like journalists, politicians, etc., This database is constantly updated and the calls/lines are monitored. We have specific information from RIC employees/engineers who have informed us of the same on conditions of anonymity. In fact it is a known secret at the RIC NOC (Network Operations Centre off Mumbai) that mobile phone (CDMA) accounts of subscribers are monitored and any suspect customer (not merely in terms of credit check/bill payment issues) is further monitored/tapped.

3. RIC is also using high-tech sophisticated equipment like bugs and wire taps to keep a tab on the activities of its detractors/opponents/journalists/difficult customers. All this is illegal under the provisions of law, as only the police can tap/monitor telephone calls of subscribers/callers and that too under very specific circumstances. Even the telephone company providing the service is not authorised to tap/record/monitor the calls of their subscribers (or other subscribers coming into their network).

4. We would also like to bring to your notice that in cities like Mumbai and Delhi RIC is scrambling/deleting the caller id of select numbers/subscribers. This means that RIC is withholding/restraining the caller id (Phone number) of certain subscribers. This happens for both local and inter circle (STD) calls. While we do not understand the reasons and motive for the same, we request you to look into the matter as under DOT/TRAI guidelines and rules it is mandatory for every operator to pass on caller id without any interference or modification.

5. We are also enclosing a copy of a letter/email sent to SEBI (and other authorities) regarding dubious share transactions of RIC/RIL and its business associates. SEBI has not as yet got back to us and we are not sure if there is any investigative activity going on in this regard. SEBI officials have even refused to comment/acknowledge the same to the Press. We are enclosing the same for your kind reference and action.

We understand that as a matter of policy, the CBI does not act on/entertain anonymous/ pseudonymous complaints. All the same, as mentioned on your website, the CBI gets involved in cases in which the financial interests of the Central Government are involved and/or cases relating to the breach of Central Laws with the enforcement of which the Government of India is mainly concerned. In this regard we would like to state that while we would like to protect our identities, we are not anonymous and would be willing to come forward and depose if and when required. We are sure the CBI can suo moto take up our complaint from the news reports appearing in the press.

In the interest of justice and the national interest at large, we request you to kindly enquire into our complaint. We are available on this email id in case you need any further clarifications and will respond to all your queries as soon as practically possible.

Manesh Rane (and others mentioned above)


The Chairman
The Securities & Exchange Board of India
Mittal Court, B Wing, 1st floor,
Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021


On behalf of ourselves (persons mentioned herein) and million other retail investors and in particular Reliance Industries shareholders, we Mr Maneesh Rane, Ms Sujata Pandit, Mr B N Rathod, Ms Hema R Chopra and Mr Ashok Ramnathan all residents of New Delhi, wish to file the following complaint/grievance with The Securities and Exchange Board of India. We are Indian citizens and part of the general investing public. We are also share holders of RIL, however we restrain from giving details in this regard as we fear for our lives. With reference to the series of articles that have appeared in The Asian Age regarding the Reliance-Mahajan-Ashish Deora nexus we would like to point out and complain as follows:

It has come to our knowledge that the promoters of India Online Network Ltd, namely Mr Ashish Deora, Mr V R Rao (Mr Ramanand Rao) and others had hatched a criminal conspiracy to defraud the public and the state/nation, by floating a company under the name and title of India Online Network Ltd and have the same listed on The Stock Exchange, Mumbai (and other Stock Exchanges, if any) and take undue advantage of the prevailing dot-com boom/internet boom. To circumvent various SEBI/BSE listing guidelines, they had taken over an old company which existed only on paper (we are told) M/s Natwar Synthetics Ltd and re-christened the same to India Online Network Ltd. Aiding them in this scam was one Mr Siddharth Srivastava, formerly also associated with the ATN television channel. It is also a fact that Mr Rahul Mahajan and Ms Poonam Mahajan, son and daughter respectively of the former Information Technology/I&B Minister Shri Pramod Mahajan were also unofficial partners in this venture.

This company was floated merely with the intention to get the same listed on the Stock Exchange and take advantage of the volatility in the Stock Market and the exorbitant and unrealistic share prices of the dot com companies. As a matter of fact, India Online Network Ltd, now re christened IOL Broadband Ltd was also promoted as www.speedmelon.com (to bring in the dot com tag).

The other intention of the promoters of India Online Network Ltd was to secure huge loans from Venture Capitalists, Venture Capital Funds, etc., who at that time were willing to invest crores of rupees in anything that ended with a dot com tag. Since the company was actually controlled by Mr Rahul Mahajan, while Mr Ashish Deora, the Managing Director was merely a stooge/front end for the Mahajan family, various high level contacts in the government were used and misused to obtain funding/loans/credit by the promoters. For example, the newly formed India Online Network Ltd obtained huge credit and procured goods and services from companies like Wipro, Cisco India, etc. It is a known fact that companies like Wipro and Cisco would never give goods and services on credit running into several crores of rupees unless there was pressure brought in from various quarters. It is quite obvious that the pressure in this case was the I&B Ministry and Mr Pramod Mahajan. Similarly, India Online Network Ltd, had brought undue pressure on IDBI to grant a loan of Rs 20 crore of which Rs 10 crore was disbursed almost over night. Again it is quite obvious how two or three, 24-26 year-old young men were granted a loan of Rs 10 crore almost over night to fund their venture. It is again quite obvious as to why IDBI is not prosecuting Mr Ashish Deora and others for defaulting on this loan. It has come to our notice that even Cisco and Wipro were threatened that "it would not serve their best interests were they to file recovery or winding up proceedings against India Online Network Ltd." It is also quite obvious how 2-3 non-technology persons who had no business or technology experience whatsoever were granted a loan to start a hi-tech business. It has come to our notice and knowledge that while Wipro had initiated some legal action against the above-mentioned persons, they have subsequently dropped/gone slow on the same on pressure from Shri Pramod Mahajan and his goons.

It has also come to our knowledge that the promoters of India Online Network Ltd owe several persons crores of rupees for services rendered and goods supplied. However, the concerned persons are threatened, cajoled and coerced into not filing complaints or recovery proceedings against the Mahajan family and their friends.

It has also some to our knowledge that a huge amount running into crores of rupees was sent to certain companies based abroad in the UK and USA to pay for various computer/network equipment like Media Servers, Routers, Switches, etc. However, the equipment supplied/sent was actually valued at not more than a tenth of the amount sent/paid abroad. We are informed that the balance amount was siphoned off into benami accounts held by Mr Rahul Mahajan and Mr Ashish Deora in the UK and USA. This is a classic case of over invoicing wherein the actual value of the goods supplied (merely for the records) was not even a tenth of the money paid for them. Further, we are informed that Mr Rahul Mahajan would monthly withdraw lakhs of rupees from the company accounts of India Online Network Ltd in cash to pay for his exorbitant and lavish lifestyle. According to our sources, Mr Rahul Mahajan required Rs 50,000/- per day in cash for his personal expenses and the same was withdrawn in cash and paid to him by Mr Ashish Deora and Mr V R Rao. Hence although the company got a loan of Rs 10 crore from IDBI in addition to the money of the poor investor who invested in the shares of the company, India Online Network Ltd has huge outstanding and debts running into several crores of rupees.

It is also a known fact that IOL Broadband (as the company is now known) has made false and untrue declarations to The Stock Exchange, Mumbai, SEBI and other regulatory bodies. Their balance sheets are fudged and the company only exists on paper.

Further, we have sufficient reason to believe that Shri Pramod Mahajan used his official position and designation to extract sensitive market information from various sources, including but not restricted to several corporates like the Sunil Mittal-promoted Airtel (Bharti Televentures Ltd) and Reliance Industries Ltd (Reliance Infocomm Ltd). It has come to our notice that Mr Ashish Deora, (the front man for Mr Rahul and Pramod Mahajan) has several dealings in shares (running into hundreds of crores of rupees) in various companies and through various benami companies/persons/brokers. It is quite obvious that Mr Ashish Deora, the front man for the Mahajan family was using sensitive market information and insider information obtained through the Mahajan link in the ministry and then trading in shares in the open market through various intermediaries and subsequent front men/dummy persons. A sample of his expertise in this regard can be found in the articles carried by OLGA TELLIS in THE ASIAN AGE over the last two weeks. One of the articles explains how Reliance shares worth several hundred crores were sold/transferred to various persons who subsequently were linked to Mr Ashish Deora, the front man for the Mahajan family. We are told that Mr Ashish Deora is a director and controls over 40 companies and uses the same to carry on his (and that of his masters/friends) unethical, immoral and illegal deeds. Mr Ashish Deora and Mr Rahul Mahajan have illegally procured sensitive market and insider information and have used the same to trade/buy and sell shares/scrips, etc for their own illegal gain.

It has also come to our notice and knowledge that both Airtel (Bharti Televentures Ltd) and the Reliance group have illegally, fraudulently and clandestinely channeled several hundred crores of rupees to Mr Pramod Mahajan and his family and Mr Ashish Deora and family both in cash and stock as kickbacks, bribes, etc. Some of these monies have been paid (by the Reliance and Bharti group) in cash and deposited in accounts held abroad by Mr Ashish Deora and
Mr Rahul Mahajan. We request you and your office, including the other agencies like the Registrar of Companies (ROC), etc., to investigate in depth the activities of India Online Network Ltd and its promoters and unearth the illegal activities of the same. In the interest of our safety we have not mentioned our telephone nos./complete residential address, as we are aware that doing so would be risky and detrimental to our own lives and that of our families. We may however be contacted at/on [email protected] for any clarifications. We however would like to remain anonymous, as we have already been threatened with dire consequences and even the lives of our families are at stake should our real identities become known. All the contentions/accusations mentioned herein are a known fact in sections of the media and industry and it would require very little probing from your end to procure concrete and admissible evidence of the above accusations.

Thanking you,
Maneesh Rane (and persons mentioned above)

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