India's Bharti Airtel shrs drop on speculation over possible police charges

Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:32am EST

NEW DELHI, Dec 21 (Reuters) - Shares in Bharti Airtel
 fell as much as 3.2 percent on Friday amid speculation
that federal police may file charges against India's top mobile
phone carrier as part of a broader case involving alleged
irregularities in airwave allocations.
    A source at India's Central Bureau of Investigation told
Reuters that officials were likely to file charges related to 
the broader case as early as Friday but did not specify whether
those might included Bharti. The source declined to be named
because of the ongoing investigation.
    A Bharti spokesman declined to comment. Bharti has
previously said it had complied with all rules.
    The CBI probe concerns alleged irregularities in allotting
mobile spectrum in 2002 during the previous government led by
the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is now in opposition.  
 
    The investigation follows a scandal over airwave allocations
in 2008 that rocked the ruling Congress Party-led government.
The Supreme Court had asked the CBI to investigate any possible
irregularities in the granting of mobile permits from 2001 to
2007.
    Bharti shares were down 2.2 percent as of 0826 GMT,
under-performing the 0.8 percent decline in the broader NSE
index.

 (Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy; Additional reporting by Manoj
Dharra in MUMBAI; Editing by Rafael Nam and Ken Wills)