Taking exception to Reliance Group President V Balasubramaniam's failure to appear before it in an Official Secrets Act case, a Delhi court on Tuesday asked him to remain present during the proceedings on January 31.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, who ordered Balasubramaniam to appear before her on the next date of hearing, however, allowed his lawyer's plea for exemption for Tuesday, sources said.
Balasubramaniam and two other Reliance officials--A N Sethuraman and Shankar Adawal--were named in the case by Central Bureau of Investigation after the agency recovered four sensitive secret documents pertaining to Union Cabinet meetings from the company's office in New Delhi in 1998.
The court, after taking cognisance of the CBI complaint on April 5 last, had summoned the three Reliance executives
to appear before it on April 29, 2002.
Sethuraman and Adwal, who were sent to judicial custody by the CMM on April 29, were later granted bail by Additional Sessions Judge R K Gauba.
Balasubramaniam, against whom an non-bailable warrant was issued by the court, was also granted bail by the CMM after he appeared before her on May 13 last year.
All the three Reliance executives were asked to surrender their passports and not to tamper with evidence.
The court has ordered CBI to supply all the documents relating to the case to the accused. However, CBI has witheld
certain documents as it considered those to be classified.
Meanwhile, the accused have challenged CMM's decision to take cognisance of CBI chargesheet and the matter is pending before Additional Sessions Judge P K Bhasin.