India's federal police agency cleared the country's Tata Group conglomerate on Thursday of any wrongdoing in a massive telecom scandal that has rocked the Congress-led government.
The Central Bureau of Investigation told a court that the telecom unit of the sprawling tea-to-steel group, was not a "beneficiary" in the case that the national auditor estimates cost the state nearly $40 billion in lost revenue.
There was "no illegality in the granting of (second-generation or 2G) licences to the Tatas," the police agency said in its submission to the New Delhi court.
"The real beneficiaries are the new people who got new licences," the submission said.
Shares of Tata Teleservices leapt on the news, closing up 6.46 percent at 17.30 rupees (39 cents) on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Prosecutors allege former telecom minister A. Raja sold telecom licences at give-away prices in 2008 to favoured companies that paid bribes to gain sought-after 2G bandwidth in the world's fastest-growing mobile phone market.
The Tata Group is one of India's most respected business houses and is headed by 73-year-old Ratan Tata.
More than a dozen people are in jail over the telecom scandal, notably Raja, other top officials and business executives from companies such as mobile giant Reliance Communications.
Indian tycoon Anil Ambani, who heads the Reliance ADA Group which owns Reliance Communications, was questioned by the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee over the sale of telecom licences, but has not been charged.