Tata, Unitech challenge SFIO's conclusion on 2007 transaction
In 2007, a deal between Tata Realty & Infrastructure (TRIL) and Unitech took place. The transaction was on the acquisition of a land owned by Unitech during the boom of the real estate industry in 2007. A commercial advance payment was given to Unitech in the same year.
A spokesperson for Tata Sons said, "The Tata group has comprehensively addressed questions from all government agencies and fully cooperated with all authorities in their investigations, including the SFIO. The group has not seen any SFIO report so far; as such, we are not in a position to address any specific questions relating to any such report. We stress that our group is committed to the highest standards of ethics and business conduct."
Sources that were close to TRIL said that the conclusion of the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) was real estate and not telecom. According to sources, "The transaction between Unitech and Tata Realty & Infrastructure company (TRIL) was done with full and proper due diligence. The land was to be acquired by TRIL during the time of the real estate boom in 2007 as part of their overall development plan. Thus, a commercial advance was paid to Unitech in 2007."
The sources pointed out that the Central Bureau of Investigation in India had not found any irregularities with the deal during its probe. Sources close to the matter also said, "Subsequently, in 2008, when the commercial transaction was renegotiated for a smaller size of land, which is currently under development, the balance money was refunded by Unitech to TRIL with interest at the then prevailing commercial rate. No loan was ever given to Unitech and there is no commercial advance outstanding against Unitech."
Unitech had also firmly rejected the SFIO conclusion.