Business Standard

2G scam: HC refuses early hearing on CBI's appeal challenging acquittal of A Raja, others


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Delhi High Court Tuesday refused to grant early hearing to the CBI appeal challenging the acquittal of former Union telecom minister A Raja and others in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case.
The court was hearing the CBI's application seeking to advance the date of hearing from October 24 in its appeal against the acquittal of all the individuals and companies.
CBI had also sought bringing forward the date of hearing of the appeal challenging the acquittal of Essar Group promoters Ravi Kant Ruia and Anshuman Ruia and six others in a separate case arising out of the 2G scam probe.
Justice A K Chawla said the matter would be heard on the date already fixed and added that it would be expected of all the parties to join the hearing.
"Taking into account totality of facts and circumstances, the application is disposed of with the observation that the appeal shall be taken up on the date already fixed, that is, October 24 and it would be expected of all to join the hearing," the court said.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), submitted that early hearing was needed as the country was on the verge of facing a huge amount of arbitration under bilateral investment treaties.
He said the government was on the verge of facing "humongous arbitration" pursuant to the International Bilateral Treaties all over the world, following the acquittals.
"If we lose on merit, we lose. But we should not lose on account of matter not being heard," he said.
He further said that the appeals were filed in March last year and they kept on getting adjourned on one account or the other and the repercussions are being seen now in the form of lot of arbitrations.
The application was opposed by the counsel for the individuals and companies, who were acquitted in the case.
They said the arguments advanced by the CBI were not part of the application and that several respondents were not served with the copy of the plea.
A special court had on December 21, 2017 acquitted Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others in CBI and ED cases related to the scam.
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 also acquitted former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja's erstwhile private secretary R K 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 March 19 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 in the high court the acquittal of the accused in the case.
The ED, in its charge sheet, had alleged that Rs 200 crore was paid by STPL promoters to DMK-run Kalaignar TV.
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 February 2, 2012.
Special Judge O P Saini, however, had held that the prosecution had "miserably failed" to prove the charges.
The special court, which was set up on March 14, 2011 for hearing 2G cases exclusively, had also acquitted Ruias and 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 as genuine fake documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribe.

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First Published: Jul 30 2019 | 5:46 PM IST

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