The hearing in the additional spectrum case, in which Bharti Cellular CMD Sunil Mittal, Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia and others have been summoned as accused, was today fixed for April 4 by a Delhi court.
Special CBI Judge O.P. Saini adjourned Thursday’s proceedings after advocate Siddharth Agarwal, appearing for Mr. Mittal, said the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear in March the separate pleas filed by Mr. Mittal and Mr. Ruia challenging the March 19, 2013 order of the trial court summoning them as accused in the case.
“The Supreme Court had said that the matter will be listed somewhere in March,” Mr. Agarwal told the court after which the case was listed for April 4.
The apex court, in its April 26 last year interim order, had said that hearing against Mr. Mittal and Mr. Ruia will remain “postponed” in the trial court until further orders.
Mr. Mittal did not appear in the court on Thursday while Mr. Ruia, former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh, who is also an accused in the case, was present.
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 summoned as accused by the trial court. The summons to Asim Ghosh have not been served yet.
Mr. Mittal, Mr. Ruia and Asim Ghosh were not named as accused in CBI’s charge sheet filed on December 21, 2012.
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.