A Delhi court on Monday fixed July 8 for further proceedings in the additional 2G spectrum allocation case in which Bharti Cellular CMD Sunil Mittal, Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia and others have been summoned as accused.
Special CBI Judge O P Saini deferred the matter as the Supreme Court on April 26 had issued notice to CBI on Mittal's plea challenging the summons issued against him and had said that the proceedings in the trial court will remain ‘postponed’ until further orders.
The apex court had also exempted Ruia and Mittal from personal appearance before the trial court and had given four weeks time to the agency to file its response followed by three weeks time to Mittal to file a rejoinder to the CBI's reply.
Mittal and Ruia did not appear in the Special CBI Court on Monday while one of the accused, Canada-based NRI Asim Ghosh, who was the then Managing Director of accused firm Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt Ltd, is yet to be served with the summons issued against him in the case.
Meanwhile, former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh, also an accused in the case, today appeared before the court.
After the recusal of the two judges, a new bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir is hearing Mittal and Ruia's plea challenging the summoning order of the trial court.
Earlier, Mittal and Ruia had appeared before the trial court and had furnished personal bonds in pursuance to the order of the apex court.
The special court on March 19 summoned Mittal, Ruia, who was then a Director in one of the accused companies Sterling Cellular Ltd and Asim Ghosh.
Their names were not mentioned in the charge sheet filed by CBI on December 21, last year, in the case.
Besides the three, the court had also summoned as accused Shyamal Ghosh and three telecom firms Bharti Cellular Ltd, Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt Ltd (now known as Vodafone India Ltd) and Sterling Cellular Ltd (now known as Vodafone Mobile Service Ltd).
CBI, in its charge sheet, had named the three telecom companies as accused in the case relating to the Department of Telecommunications allocating additional spectrum which had allegedly resulted in a loss of Rs 846 crore (Rs 8.46 billion) to the exchequer.
When CBI had opposed the plea of Mittal in the Supreme Court, saying evidence has been found against him during investigation in the case, the apex court had asked the probe agency why he was not named in the charge sheet.
CBI had filed the charge sheet on December 21 last year against Shyamal Ghosh and three telecom firms -- Bharti Cellular Ltd, Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt Ltd and Sterling Cellular Ltd.
Though Mittal, Ruia and Asim Ghosh were not mentioned in CBI's charge sheet as accused, the special court in its order had said it was taking cognisance of the case and issuing summons to all the seven accused, including them, for April 11.
The special court had said that Mittal, Ruia and Asim Ghosh were ‘prima facie’ in ‘control of affairs’ of their respective companies which were charge sheeted by CBI for offences of criminal conspiracy (Sec 120-B) under the IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.