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No early hearing of CBI's appeal against 2G acquittals

July 30, 2019 13:45 IST

The Delhi high court on Tuesday refused to grant early hearing on the Central Bureau of Investigation's appeal challenging the acquittal of former Union telecom minister A Raja and others in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case.

IMAGE: Former telecom minister A Raja speaks to the media after he was acquitted by a CBI special court in the 2G scam case on December 21, 2017. Photograph: Kamal Singh/PTI Photo

The court was hearing the CBI's plea seeking to prepone the date of hearing from October 24 in its appeal against the acquittal of all the accused.

Justice A K Chawla said the matter would be heard on the date already fixed and added that it would be expected of all the parties to join the hearing.

 

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the CBI, submitted that early hearing was needed as the country was on the verge of facing a huge amount of arbitration under bilateral investment treaties.

The application was opposed by the counsel for the accused.

A special court had on December 21, 2017, acquitted Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others in CBI and ED cases related to the scam.

It had also acquitted 17 others, including DMK supremo M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, film producer Karim Morani, P Amirtham and Sharad Kumar, Director of Kalaignar TV in the ED case.

On the same day, the trial court had also acquitted former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, Raja's erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia, Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra and three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) -- Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair, in the CBI's 2G case.

Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka and directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal were also acquitted in the CBI case.

On March 19 last year, the ED had approached the high court challenging the special court's order acquitting all the accused.

A day later, the CBI too had challenged in the high court the acquittal of the accused in the case.

The ED, in its charge sheet, had alleged that Rs 200 crore was paid by STPL promoters to DMK-run Kalaignar TV.

The CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of licences for the 2G spectrum which were scrapped by the top court on February 2, 2012.

Special Judge O P Saini, however, had held that the prosecution had "miserably failed" to prove the charges.

The special court, which was set up on March 14, 2011, for hearing 2G cases exclusively, had also acquitted Essar Group promoters Ravi Kant Ruia and Anshuman Ruia and six others in a separate case arising out of the 2G scam probe.

In the CBI case, Raja, Kanimozhi and 15 others were tried under provisions of the IPC and the Prevention of Corruption Act dealing with offences of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery, using as genuine fake documents, abusing official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking bribes. 

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