The Delhi high court on Thursday stayed the summoning of Reliance group chairman Mukesh Ambani and its managing director Anil Ambani in a case in which officials of the company are accused of procuring classified government documents in violation of the Official Secrets Act.
While staying the May 6 order of Additional Sessions Judge P K Bhasin, Justice J D Kapoor fixed September 11 for hearing the Ambanis' plea challenging the summoning order.
The court also issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation, which was accepted by the agency's counsel H J Ahluwalia.
Earlier, appearing for the Ambanis, senior counsel Kapil Sibal and D C Mathur argued that the sessions court could not have passed the order of summoning without hearingthem.
Whiledeciding a revision petition of the three Reliance executives accused in the OSA case, Bhasin had directed the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate to issue summons to Mukesh and Anil Ambani, the then managing directors of Reliance Industries, as they were "statutorily deemed to be guilty" of the offence alleged to have been committed by officials of the company.
CBI had claimed to have recovered photocopies of four classified secret documents of different ministries of the government from Reliance's office at Meridien Commercial towers in New Delhi during a raid conducted on October 28, 1998in connection with a case registered against gangster Romesh Sharma and others for the offences of extortion and abduction.CBI had named Reliance president V Balasubramaniam, vice president A N Sethuraman and general manager Shankar Adawal as accused charging them with entering into a criminal conspiracy for receiving and possessing classified documents.