The Delhi high court on Thursday extended by a month the date of appearance of the Ambani brothers before a city court in connection with an Official Secrets Act case.
Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani and managing director Anil Ambani, who were issued fresh summons by the Chief Metroplitan Magistrate on May 26 asking them to appear before the trial court on July 7, would now be required to be present on August 7.
Justice R C Chopra granted a month's reprieve to the Ambanis after their counsel Kapil Sibal and D C Mathur submitted that the case was already fixed for August 8 and no purpose would be served by forcing them to appear a month before the scheduled date. They said the Ambanis, however, were ready to appear before the CMM on July 7.
The brothers are yet to challenge the order on summoning that requires them to appear before the CMM in connection with the OSA case.
While issuing fresh summons to Anil and Mukesh on May 26, the CMM had warned to take coercive steps to secure their presence, if they failed to appear on July 7.
The CMM had on May 6 issued summons to the Ambani brothers, following a direction by Additional Sessions Judge P K Bhasin that they be asked to appear, for being "statutorily deemed to be guilty" of the offence allegedly committed by the company's officials.
Central Bureau of Investigation probing a case of extortion and abduction against Romesh Sharma had allegedly stumbled upon photocopies of four classified documents of various government ministries from Reliance's office at Meridien Commercial Towers in New Delhi during a raid on October 28, 1998.
Subsequently, the agency had named RIL president V Balasubramaniam, vice president A N Sethuraman and Shankar Adawal (general manager, Reliance Telecom) as accused and charged them with entering into a criminal conspiracy for receiving, possessing and handling the classified documents.
It also claimed that copies of these documents were faxed to late Dhirubhai Ambani, Mukesh, Anil and also to one N R Meswani, executive director of Reliance. These documents were beneficial for promoting the company's interests, CBI alleged.