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2G: Special bench to hear plea on summons to Anil Ambani, says SC

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 08:38

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday said its special bench seized with the 2G spectrum matter will hear the plea of Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) challenging a special court's order making its boss Anil Ambani and his wife Tina Ambani as witnesses in the case.

"It will go to the bench hearing the matter," a bench comprising justices G S Singhvi and V Gopala Gowda said.

The 2G spectrum matter is being heard by a bench comprising Justice Singhvi and Justice K S Radhakrishnan.

"I will enquire with Justice Radhakrishnan when the matter can be listed for hearing," Justice Singhvi, who has been heading the bench in the 2G matter, said.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for RTL, said there was a need for hearing the matter urgently as the trial court has already issued summons for calling fresh witnesses.

Hours after the apex court had yesterday allowed the matter to be listed for mentioning, the trial court had directed Reliance ADAG Chairman Anil Ambani to appear before it on July 26.

Contesting the July 19 order of the Special CBI Court summoning the Ambani couple to depose as CBI witnesses, RTL questioned the decision to call new witnesses at such a later stage of trial.

RTL, one of the three companies accused in the case, has challenged the order of Special CBI Judge O P Saini who made the ADAG Chairman and his wife prosecution witnesses on CBI's plea that their testimony would throw light on ADAG's companies alleged investment of over Rs 990 crore relating to 2G spectrum in Swan Telecom.

RTL has moved the Supreme Court against the trial court's order as the apex court bench headed by Justice G S Singhvi had earlier restrained all other courts, including high court, from entertaining any plea arising out of the 2G scam case.

The trial court had allowed CBI's plea that the testimony of Anil and Tina Ambani may throw light on alleged investment of over Rs 990 crore 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 Anil Ambani, Tina and 11 others as prosecution witnesses was essential for arriving at a just decision in the case.

Testimony of Anil and Tina is 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," the trial court had said.

The court had dismissed the contentions of the counsel for the accused persons 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.

The agency had alleged RTL used Swan Telecom, an ineligible firm, as its front company to get 2G licenses and the radio waves.


First Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 08:52
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