The Centre was on Wednesday asked by the Delhi high court to respond to the pleas of Essar Teleholdings Ltd and its promoters, Ravi and Anshuman Ruia, for quashing of the charges framed against them in a case linked to the 2G spectrum allocation scam.
Justice A K Pathak issued notices to the Ministry of Law, the CBI and the Department of Telecommunications, seeking their replies to the petitions of the telecom major and its two promoters against a lower court order on framing of charges against them for their trial in the case.
The court issued notices to the Law Ministry and the DoT, rejecting their contentions that the same cannot be issued against them as they were not the parties to the case.
Appearing for the telecom firm, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi argued that DoT and the Law Ministry too be asked to respond to the petition as it is the case of the CBI that the company had cheated the DoT.
Rohatgi elaborated on his submission
"If I have cheated something from DoT, let them file an affidavit that they have been cheated," he said.
The telecom firm also sought to distinguish its case from those against the other accused in the 2G scam saying "we have a better case than the others as there is no Prevention of Corruption Act invoked against us."
The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on January 22, 2013.
The telecom firm and its promoters have moved the high court against the May 25 order of the Special CBI court which had framed charges against the Ruias and Essar Teleholdings Ltd and also Essar Group director (Strategy and Planning) Vikas Saraf.
Besides, Ruias, Essar Teleholdings Ltd, the court had also framed charges against companies -- Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and their promoters Kiran Khaitan and her husband I P Khaitan under section 120 B read with 420 IPC.
Essar has denied the CBI allegations.