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Mon 7 Mar 2011 01:32 PM

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Head of Etisalat’s India JV quits property post amid corruption scandal

Shahid Balwa resigns from real estate firm DB Realty as telecoms corruption probe widens

Head of Etisalat’s India JV quits property post amid corruption scandal
Etisalat has maintained that it bought the stake in the telco, then called Swan, after the licence had been applied for and granted

Shahid Balwa, the vice chairman of Etisalat’s India unit, has
resigned from his post at real estate conglomerate DB Realty after being
embroiled in India’s biggest corruption scandal.

The board
accepted the resignation of Balwa with effect from February 9 in view of his
preoccupations relating to certain investigations, the company said in a statement to the Mumbai exchange.

DB Realty
is a unit of DB Group, which partnered with Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat to create
the telecoms company Etisalat DB.

Balwa was
arrested in February after the telco was accused of buying mobile phone
licences at unfairly cheap prices in 2008, following a government-led corruption probe.

Etisalat, which owns an approximately 45 percent stake in
the venture, has maintained that it bought the stake in the firm, then called
Swan, after the licence had been applied for and granted.

The investigation into telecoms licence awards that may have
cost the government as much as $39bn in lost revenue has led to other arrests,
seen members of India's corporate elite questioned by authorities, and battered
telecom stocks.

*With agencies

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