The Delhi High Court on Friday, 31 May, sought a response from former telecom minister A Raja and others on a plea by the CBI seeking an early hearing on the appeals challenging the trial court’s verdict that acquitted all accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sought to prepone the date of hearing of the appeals from 24 October.
Justice AK Chawla asked the CBI’s counsel what was so special that they are seeking early hearing of this matter.
“What is the urgency now,” the court asked.
The Central government standing counsel Ripu Daman Bhardwaj said the matter was of national importance with international ramifications and requested the hearing on the appeals be preponed from October.
The CBI has sought early hearing in the 2G spectrum allocation case as well as in a separate case arising out of the 2G scam probe, in which Essar Group promoters Ravi Kant Ruia and Anshuman Ruia and six others were acquitted by the trial court.
It had acquitted 17 others, including DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, film producer Karim Morani, P Amirtham and Sharad Kumar, Director of Kalaignar TV in the ED case.
On the same day, the trial court had acquitted Raja, Kanimozhi and 15 others, including former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja’s erstwhile private secretary RK Chandolia, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra and three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) – Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair, in the CBI’s 2G case.
Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal were also acquitted in the CBI case.
On 19 March last year, the ED had approached the high court challenging the special court’s order acquitting all the accused.
A day later, the CBI too had challenged the acquittal of the accused in the high court.
The CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of licences for the 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the top court on 2 February 2012.
Special Judge OP Saini, however, had held that the prosecution had “miserably failed” to prove the charges.
The special court, which was set up on 14 March 2011 for hearing 2G cases exclusively, had also acquitted Essar Group promoters Ravi Kant Ruia and Anshuman Ruia and six others in a separate case arising out of the 2G scam probe.
In the CBI case, Raja, Kanimozhi and 15 others were tried under provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, using fake documents, abusing official positions, criminal misconduct by public servants and taking bribes.―The Quint