The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the pleas of Essar Teleholdings Ltd and Loop Telecom challenging the special CBI court's jurisdiction to hold trial against them and their officials in the 2G spectrum case.
Over a year after the judgement was reserved, a bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya rejected the pleas of the telecom companies which pleaded that they be tried in a magisterial court unlike other accused in 2G cases as they have not been charged under Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.
The bench, which had reserved its judgement in May 2012, said there was no merit in the plea and dismissed the same.
The companies and their officials are facing trial before the special CBI court constituted specially to hold trial in 2G scam case as the apex court had earlier refused to stay the proceedings against them.
The two telecom firms had said they have been named in the charge sheet under section 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and the charges were triable by a magistrate and not by the special court constituted for hearing the 2G case.
Other accused named in the third charge sheet in 2G case are Essar Group promoters Anshuman and Ravi Ruia along with Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Essar Group Director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf.
The companies and their promoters have denied any involvement in the scam.
The counsel appearing for Essar had said that even in the charge sheet against them, CBI has said the offence was triable before a magistrate's court but it was filing the charge sheet before the special court as it was set up on the order of the apex court to deal with the 2G scam.
The counsel had said the February 10, 2011, order for setting up the special court exclusively for hearing the 2G case was delivered on the assumption that it was a case of corruption and the charge sheet would be filed under the PC Act.
17 other accused, including former telecom minister A Raja, his former private secretary R K Chandolia, former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, DMK MP Kanimozhi and officials of Reliance ADAG, are also facing trial for their alleged involvement in the 2G case.