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2G case: High Court seeks response of Raja, others on CBI's early hearing plea

File photo. Photograph:( DNA )

PTI New Delhi, Delhi, India May 31, 2019, 01.35 PM (IST)

The Delhi High Court Friday sought the response of former Telecom Minister A Raja and others on a plea by the CBI seeking an early hearing on the appeals challenging the trial court's verdict acquitting all accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) sought to prepone the date of hearing of the appeals from October 24.

The court issued a notice to all the individuals and firms, who were acquitted in the case, on the CBI's plea and listed the application for hearing on July 30.

Justice A K Chawla asked the CBI's counsel as to what was so special that they are seeking early hearing of this matter.

"What is the urgency now," the court asked.

Central government standing counsel Ripu Daman Bhardwaj said the matter was of national importance with international ramifications and the hearing on the appeals be preponed from October.

The CBI has sought an early hearing in the 2G spectrum allocation case as well as in a separate case arising out of the 2G scam probe in which Essar Group promoters Ravi Kant Ruia and Anshuman Ruia and six others were acquitted by the trial court.

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

It had 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 acquitted Raja, Kanimozhi and 15 others, including 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 was 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 the official position, criminal misconduct by public servant and taking a bribe.