Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia, facing trial in a case arising out of the 2G scam probe, has been denied permission to travel abroad by a special court which said allegations in the matter were of "very serious nature" and he has nothing substantive to do in London.
Special CBI judge OP Saini dismissed his plea in which he had sought the court’s permission to go to London from February 7 to March 14 to spend time with his family there.
Meanwhile, the court allowed a separate plea filed by Essar Group Director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf, a co-accused in the case, seeking permission to travel to Dubai from February 22 to March 6 for his professional obligations.
While dismissing Ruia’s plea, the court said, "The accused is facing trial in a case in which allegations are of a very serious nature. In such a situation, permitting the accused to travel abroad without any good reason may not be prudent, more so, when he has nothing substantive to do in London."
"He (Ruia) has been permitted to travel abroad previously on several occasions but only on his making out a case necessitating such visit. As submitted by senior public prosecutor, the case is at the final stage and final arguments for the accused are being heard," the judge said.
During the arguments on Ruia’s plea, his counsel told the court that previously also his client was permitted to travel abroad and he had complied with all the conditions which were imposed upon him.
The lawyer said the case was not listed for hearing from February 7 to March 14 and presence of Ruia was not required.
However, CBI sought dismissal of Ruia’s plea saying it was not supported with any valid documents and being a resourceful person, he may misuse the liberty if permitted to go abroad.
It said that Ruia has nothing substantive to do in London except spending time with his family and this was not a ground for permission to travel abroad when the case is at its fag end.
During the arguments on Saraf’s plea, his counsel said that he is employed with Jade Global Services (FZE), a company incorporated and registered in Dubai, and was required to go to Dubai to meet out his professional obligations.
CBI opposed his plea contending that documents and tickets submitted by Saraf were vague and unclear.
The court, however, allowed his plea saying, "Considering the submissions and the fact that there has been no complaint against the accused misusing the liberty granted to him in the past, I am inclined to allow the application…"
The court is currently hearing final arguments in the case.
Essar Group promoters Ravi and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Vikash Saraf are facing trial in the case, along with three telecom firms — Loop Telecom Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holdings Ltd.
The five individuals accused, who are out on bail, have denied the charges levelled by CBI. The three firms have also refuted these allegations.
CBI had listed these accused in a charge sheet on December 12, 2011, alleging they had cheated the DoT by using Loop Telecom as a "front" to secure 2G licences in 2008.
On May 25, 2012, the court had framed charges against all the accused under section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) read with section 420 (cheating) of the IPC, while the substantive charge of cheating was made out only against Saraf.