Essar and Loop group, charge sheeted in the 2G spectrum case along with their promoters, moved the Supreme Court on Thursday challenging the criminal proceeding against them before the special CBI court in the case.
They submitted before a bench headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi that the proceedings against them should be conducted before a Magistrate as the companies and their officials are not charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) like other accused in the multi-crore scam.
“I have a right to say that I be heard in the court of a Magistrate as there is no charge against me under PCA,” senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the Essar group, said.
The group approached the Supreme Court after being asked by the Delhi High Court to seek a clarification whether the special court can conduct a trial of companies which are not charged under the PCA in the case arising out of the probe in the 2G spectrum scam case.
At the outset, the bench observed that its order for conducting the trial in the case was very clear.
“The High Court should have read the order. It is very clear,” the bench said and objected to the appeal filed on the issue and asked the company to “avail” proper remedy available to it.
Mr. Salve then submitted that he would file an interim application and sought adjournment.
The court then listed the matter for hearing on February 17, 2012.
In the meantime, the Central Bureau of Investigation, which had also filed an application for clarification on the issue, withdrew its plea.
The High Court had said that the Supreme Court’s directions, restraining any other judicial forum to entertain any plea in the matter, were coming in its way from hearing the petitions of telecom firms.
Besides Essar, the other accused named in the third charge sheet in the 2G case are telecom firm Loop Mobile India, Essar group promoters Anshuman and Ravi Ruia along with Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband I.P. Khaitan and Essar Group director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf.
The charge sheet has been filed under section 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC and the accusations against the firms are triable by a Magistrate and not by the special court constituted under the PC Act for hearing the 2G case, Essar, in its petition, said.
Essar and Loop had moved the High Court seeking a stay on the administrative order of the Registrar of the High Court which had ordered constitution of the special court.