Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Vinod Goenka, accused in the 2G case, were today granted three days exemption from personal appearance by a Delhi court as they have to consult lawyers in Mumbai for a cheating case filed against them by foreign partner Etisalat.
Special CBI judge O P Saini exempted Balwa and Goenka from appearing in the court for three days on February 27 after they said that Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat has filed a cheating and forgery case against them in Bombay High Court and they have to engage counsel for the case.
"A case of cheating and forgery has been filed against us (Balwa and Goenka) by Etisalat and we need to go Mumbai urgently to engage advocates for the new case and to brief them about it," counsel for Balwa and Goenka said.
The counsel said they were also going to Mumbai with their clients to brief the matter to other advocates there.
They had sought exemption for five days but the special judge granted three days and also directed their counsel to remain present during the court proceedings so that their identity should not be disputed.
Etisalat had yesterday said that it had filed a lawsuit against the promoters of Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB) alleging fraud and misrepresentation.
The UAE-based firm in 2008 had paid USD 900 million for 45 per cent stake in Balwa-promoted Swan Telecom, which was later renamed Etisalat DB.
Etisalat had earlier announced shutting of its operations in India following the Supreme Court order cancelling the telecom licenses granted during the tenure of former telecom minister A Raja in 2008.
The court also allowed the exemption application of DMK MP Kanimozhi, an accused in the case, from personal appearance for today on the ground of attending a wedding reception in Chennai and directed her counsel to remain present in the court during the case hearing.
It had on Thursday also allowed Kanimozhi's application for exemption from personal appearance on the same ground.
Meanwhile, the court started recording the statement of prosecution witness Prem Lal Malik, Deputy Registrar in the office of Registrar of Companies (RoC), Delhi and Haryana.
Malik told the court that Unitech Infrastructure (P) Ltd had filed an online form on May 9, 2008 to change its name to Unitech Telecom (P) Ltd.
He said that the form was attached with the minutes of Extra Ordinary General Meeting of the members of Unitech Infrastructure (P) Ltd held on May 6, 2008.
Similarly, on being shown documents by CBI prosecutor, he said that Unitech Builders and Estates (P) Ltd had filed online form on May 9, 2008 to change its name to Unitech Telecom Projects (P) Ltd.
On Friday, his examination was deferred for February 27 as the CBI prosecutor sought time to go through the documents related to his testimony.