STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 02 September
A city court today dismissed separate pleas of Essar Teleholdings Ltd (ETHL) and another accused in 2G spectrum scam case seeking a joint trial in the case.
Both the applications were dismissed by the special CBI Judge O P Saini, saying that the trial will continue as it is. ETHL, an accused in a case arising out of the probe into the 2G spectrum scam along with the promoters of Essar Group and Loop Telecom, had moved the court seeking a joint trial with former Telecom Minister A Raja and others in the case. The private firm director Rajiv Agarwal, facing trial with former Telecom Minister A Raja, too had moved a similar plea.
Mr Saini had reserved its order on the pleas after hearing arguments of CBI and the counsel for both the petitioner.
Earlier during the argument, CBI had opposed the pleas saying any "attempt to derail the trial" would be against the Supreme Court’s order of day-to-day proceedings.
"No prejudice would be caused to the accused if the trial was conducted separately in the case," said the Special Public Prosecutor U U Lalit, during the arguments.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, who had appeared for ETHL, however, said CBI has created a "mess" and a "big confusion" has been created due to their stand.
ETHL had sought joint trial citing a recent Supreme Court order holding them as co-accused in the case.
‘Balwa went abroad without permission’
CBI today claimed that it has got "information" that Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, facing trial in the 2G spectrum case, has travelled abroad without prior permission from the special court trying this case.
The said allegation came by the agency before the court of Special CBI Judge, Mr O P Saini, while opposing Balwa’s plea, seeking exemption from personal appearance from 2 September to 6 September on grounds of "emergency".
CBI prosecutor K K Goel opposed the plea, saying that they have got some information "otherwise" about Balwa and the accused should honour the court.
The court had earlier made it clear that Balwa, who was arrested on 8 February, 2011, should not remain absent from any proceedings related to the case without prior permission and should also inform CBI about the same. He was granted bail by the special court on 29 November, 2011.
However, Balwa’s counsel, Vijay Aggarwal, argued that he has also heard some "rumour" regarding this and CBI should not act on rumours. "…it was not possible as his passport is lying in the court," said Aggarwal.
However, later Aggarwal withdrew the plea, saying he would argue on it tomorrow.