Press Trust of India
New Delhi, 26 August
A Delhi court today fixed 28 October for hearing the additional spectrum case in which Bharti Cellular CMD Sunil Mittal, Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia and others have been summonsed as an accused.
Special CBI Judge O P Saini adjourned today’s proceedings in the case as Mr Mittal and Mr Ruia had filed separate pleas, saying the Supreme Court had said that there was no need for clarification on its interim order of 26 April.
The apex court, in its 26 April interim order, had said the hearing against Mr Mittal and Mr Ruia will remain “postponed” in the trial court until further orders.
The SC’s order had come on Mr Mittal and Mr Ruia’s pleas challenging the special court’s 19 March order by which it had summonsed them as accused in the case.
Mr Mittal and Mr Ruia did not appear in the court today while former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh, who is also an accused in the case, appeared before it. Senior advocate Harish Salve, who had appeared for Mr Mittal on 23 August, had told the court that as per the 26 April interim order of the apex court, the stay on the proceedings before the trial court still continues.
The special court had earlier told Mr Mittal and Mr Ruia, who had challenged the trial court’s order summonsing them as accused in the case, that there was “no stay” on proceedings before it and had warned them that it will go ahead with criminal process if they fail to seek clarification from the Supreme Court on the issue.
The CBI had also opposed their plea, saying the proceedings had not been stayed by the apex court.
Mr Mittal, Mr Ruia and Canada-based NRI Asim Ghosh, who was then a Managing Director of accused firm Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt Ltd, were summonsed as accused by the trial court. The summons to Asim Ghosh have not been served till date.
Mr Mittal, Mr Ruia and Mr Ghosh were not named as accused in CBI’s charge sheet filed on 21 December, last year. 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) are also accused in the case.
The CBI, in its charge-sheet, had named Shyamal Ghosh and the three telecom companies as accused in the case relating to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) allocating additional spectrum which had allegedly resulted in a loss of Rs 846 crore to the exchequer.