Indian property boss resigns over telecom scandal

MUMBAI, March 7, 2011 (AFP) – The head of one of India’s top real-estate companies resigned on Monday after being arrested as part of a probe into a telecom graft scandal that is sending tremors through the corporate world. Shahid Balwa is in jail after being arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) last month in an investigation into irregularities in how the government awarded second-generation (2G) mobile telecom licences.

Shares in DB Realty plunged as much as 15 percent to a record low of 100 rupees at the Bombay Stock Exchange after news of Balwa’s resignation as managing director.

Balwa stood down “in view of his preoccupations relating to certain investigations”, DB Realty said in a statement.

Balwa was also vice-chairman of Etisalat DB Telecom India, a joint venture between DB Realty’s parent company Dynamix Balwas (DB) Group and the Abu Dhabi-based telecoms giant Etisalat.

DB Realty was not immediately available to confirm whether Balwa had also stepped down from that role.

Former telecoms minister A. Raja, who has also been arrested, is suspected of rigging the 2G licences rules to favour certain companies, allegedly including Etisalat DB when it was called Swan Telec