Indian conglomerate Essar Group has denied being involved in a multi-billion-dollar telecoms case, after the family business head was charged by the country’s investigative body.
The Central Bureau of Investigation reportedly filed charges against members of the Ruia family, including founder of Essar Group Ravi Ruia, who is vice-chairman, and his nephew Anshuman, who is a director.
The telecoms case, which first began in 2009, involves irregularities found in the issue of second-generation mobile licenses to companies the year before. Businesses allegedly allocated licenses at a discounted rate, a move that reportedly cost the Indian government up to $39 billion (€29.5 billion) in lost revenues.
Although the charges against Essar Group weren’t related to any direct involvement in the case, the CBI accused the family business of alleged violation of some conditions under the country’s guidelines on issuing telecoms licenses.
The Mumbai-based group, whose operations span energy, telecoms, steel and shipping, said in a statement that it has “always complied with all government guidelines”. It added that it would take “legal recourse” against the charges.
The allegations could possibly pose a challenge to the group’s international ambitions. Essar Group announced in October that it is considering listing its infrastructure division in London, with the aim of expanding its global operations.
Founded by Ravi and his brother Shashi in 1969, Essar Group had 2010 revenues of $17 billion. Shashi’s son Prashant is the chief executive, while family members Rewant, one of CampdenFB’s top next-gen leaders, and Smiti are directors at the company.