Tina Ambani, who has been summoned as prosecution witness in the 2G case along with her husband Reliance ADA Group Chairman Anil Ambani, on Monday moved a Delhi court seeking exemption from personal appearance before it on August 23 citing prior commitments.
Tina, who is scheduled to appear before the court on August 23 for her deposition, moved the plea before Special CBI Judge O P Saini saying "I wish to state that owing to prior commitments, it will not be possible for me to travel to Delhi on August 23, 2013."
CBI prosecutor K K Goel opposed the application saying it was "dragging the trial" and noted that Anil Ambani too had filed a similar plea earlier.
"We will file our reply. It's like dragging the trial. Earlier Mr Ambani had filed a plea seeking time and now Mrs. Ambani is seeking time. We will argue on this," the prosecutor said.
The judge listed the plea for arguments on August 21.
Tina, in her one-page application, sought adjournment for her appearance before the court on August 23 and requested it to fix a new date.
"I request your honour to kindly grant an adjournment for my appearance and fix a new date at any time towards the end of September 2013 or preferably October 2013 at your convenience," she said.
She also said that summons dated July 26 has been received by her on August 6.
The court had issued summons to Anil and Tina for recording of their statement as prosecution witnesses in the case for August 22 and 23 respectively.
Earlier, Anil, who was scheduled to depose in the court on July 26, had moved a plea for exemption from personal exemption on the grounds that he has "pre-scheduled" business engagements.
The court had on July 25 allowed his plea and had directed him to appear before it on August 22 for recording of his testimony.
Anil had in his plea said that he received the summons on July 23 and "owing to extremely short notice of just two days", it would not be possible for him to appear before it and that he would appear in court on any day after August 15.
The court had on July 19 allowed CBI's plea to make Anil and Tina Ambani prosecution witnesses in the case as their testimonies may throw light on alleged investment of over Rs 990 crore (Rs 9.9 billion) by his group companies in Swan Telecom, facing trial in the case along with its promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka.
It had said CBI's plea to summon Ambani, his wife and 11 others as prosecution witnesses was essential for arriving at a just decision in the case.
On July 25, the Supreme Court had refused to grant an urgent hearing on the plea of Reliance Telecom Ltd, an accused in the case, challenging the trial court's order summoning Anil and Tina as prosecution witnesses in the case.
The RTL's plea is being heard by the apex court's special bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and K S Radhakrishnan which is hearing all the matters pertaining to the 2G scam, and has been listed for August 21 for further arguments.
The trial court, while allowing the CBI's plea, had said testimonies of Anil and Tina Ambani are required to prove the facts "pertaining to incorporation of shell companies as some of the witnesses examined earlier have not been able to do so".
It had dismissed the contentions of the counsel for the accused that CBI's plea "suffers from the vice of delay", saying the process of examination of prosecution witnesses is still underway.
RADAG's company, RTL, is an accused in the case. Three top Reliance ADAG executives Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair are also facing trial in the case.
CBI has alleged that RTL used Swan Telecom, an ineligible firm, as its front company to get 2G licences and radio waves.
Image: Tina and Anil Ambani