Press Trust of India
NEW DELHI, 14 AUG: Bharti Cellular CMD Sunil Mittal, Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia and other accused in the 2G case today told the Supreme Court that its orders barring the High Court from hearing cases arising out of the scam and directing trial on day-to-day basis has turned into an “instrument of torture” and seriously impaired their rights.
“Unfortunately, the trial court has not realised the spirit of the order and took it in a literal sense making it an instrument of torture,” senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Balwa, submitted before a Bench of Mr Justice G S Singhvi and Mr Justice K S Radhakrishnan.
Mr Mittal and Mr Ruia, who have been summoned as accused in the case of alleged irregularities in allotment of additional spectrum, assailed the order saying it has seriously impaired their right to approach the High Court.
However, the CBI opposed the plea for recall of the apex court’s 11 April, 2011 and 9 November, 2012 orders, saying these were passed “keeping in mind the magnitude of the case involving the sitting MP, who was then the telecom minister (A Raja) and large number of industrialists”.
The agency told a Bench comprising Mr Justice G S Singhvi and Mr Justice K S Radhakrishnan that “the entirity of 2G spectrum scam spread for long period and there are connected cases” and “in case of Mittal and Ruia the trial court asked them to be added as accused (in the additional spectrum case) and they themselves have come to this court”.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Mr Mittal and Mr Ruia, said the apex court orders on their pleas were being given altogether a different interpretation by the CBI.
“It is surprising how your orders are being understood,” he said referring to the orders in which the CBI and others were given six weeks to complete the filing of affidavits and counter-affidavits on their petitions challenging the trial court order summoning them as accused in the case of alleged irregularities in the additional spectrum case. Meanwhile, the court rejected the plea of Gujarat that henceforth, the petitioners should not be allowed access to future reports of the Justice Bedi panel.
“As and when, the Chairman (Justice Bedi) submits the report, its copy may be supplied to the petitioners,” it said.
Earlier, the court had said five reports of the panel be supplied to the parties involved in the matter.
The Bench had brushed aside the allegation of Gujarat government that it was “selectively” targeted on human rights issue and the same yardstick was not applied to dealing with cases of alleged encounter killings in other states.
“You bring human rights violations from other states. You will find we will respond with same alacrity,” a bench, headed by Justice Aftab Alam (since retired), had said while appointing Justice Bedi as the chairman of the monitoring authority.
Later, the state government filed a petition in the apex court to bring into its ambit the encounter killings in all states and the plea is pending before another Bench. Since taking over the task, Justice Bedi filed six reports in sealed covers to the apex court which had wanted the supervision and monitoring of the investigation to be done by “someone whose integrity is completely beyond any question”.