Court fixes additional 2G spectrum allocation case for July 31

Court fixes additional 2G spectrum allocation case for July 31 New Delhi: A Delhi court Monday fixed July 31 for further hearing in the additional 2G spectrum allocation case in which Bharti Cellular CMD Sunil Mittal, Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia and others have been summoned as accused.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini deferred the proceedings after lawyers appearing for Mittal and Ruia informed the court that the matter is pending in the Supreme Court.

The counsel also submitted before the judge that the apex court in its interim order of April 26 had postponed the trial court proceedings till further orders and had also exempted Mittal and Ruia from personal appearance.

The apex court's interim order had come on Mittal and Ruia's pleas challenging the special court's March 19 order by which it had summoned them as accused in the case.

Apart from Mittal and Ruia, the others who were summoned as accused are Canada-based NRI Asim Ghosh, who was the then Managing Director of accused firm Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt Ltd, and former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh.

Shyamal Ghosh was present in the Special CBI Court today. The summons to Asim Ghosh have not been served till date.

Mittal and Ruia had on an earlier date appeared before the trial court and had furnished personal bonds in pursuance to the order of the apex court.

On April 29, the special court had fixed July 8 for further proceedings in the case.

On March 19, the special court had summoned Mittal, Ruia, who was then a Director in one of the accused companies Sterling Cellular Ltd and Asim Ghosh.

Their names had not been mentioned in the charge sheet filed by CBI on December 21, last year, in the case.

CBI, in its charge sheet, had named as accused Shyamal Ghosh and three telecom firms Bharti Cellular Ltd, Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt Ltd (now known as Vodafone India Ltd) and Sterling Cellular Ltd (now known as Vodafone Mobile Service Ltd).

CBI, in its charge sheet, had named the three telecom companies as accused in the case relating to the Department of Telecommunications allocating additional spectrum which had allegedly resulted in a loss of Rs 846 crore to the exchequer.

Though Mittal, Ruia and Asim Ghosh were not mentioned in CBI's charge sheet as accused, the special court in its order had said it was taking cognisance of the case and issuing summons to all the seven accused, including them, for April 11.

The special court had said that Mittal, Ruia and Asim Ghosh were "prima facie" in "control of affairs" of their respective companies which were charge sheeted by CBI for offences of criminal conspiracy (Sec 120-B) under the IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Pursuant to the summons, Mittal and Ruia had moved the apex court challenging the trial court's order.

PTI