The Delhi High Court on Friday sought the response of former Telecom Minister A. Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others on a plea by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking an early hearing on the appeals challenging their acquittal in the 2G spectrum allocation case.
The High Court had previously posted the case for hearing on October 24, but the CBI wanted it to be advanced to an early date.
When the CBI’s application came up for hearing, Justice A.K. Chawla asked, “What is the urgency now?” Central government standing counsel Ripu Daman Bhardwaj responded that the 2G case was of national importance, with international ramifications.
The High Court then issued notices to all the individuals and firms, acquitted in the case, and posted the CBI’s application for hearing on July 30.
In December 2017, a Special CBI Court here had acquitted Mr. Raja, Ms. Kanimozhi and others in the CBI and Enforcement Directorate cases, noting that the prosecution had “miserably failed” to prove the charges.
It had also acquitted 17 others, including late DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal.
Among others, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, film producer Karim Morani, P. Amirtham and Sharad Kumar, director of Kalaignar TV in the ED case, were also acquitted.
On March 19 last year, the ED had approached the High Court challenging the special court’s order acquitting all the accused. A day later, the CBI too had challenged in the HC the acquittal of the accused in the case. Earlier this year, the High Court had directed Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, director of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Private Limited Rajiv Agarwal, and firms — Dynamic Realty, D B Realty Limited and Nihar Constructions Private Limited — who were acquitted in the ED case, to plant 3,000 trees each in Delhi’s South Ridge forest area.
The punishment was given to them for failing to file on time their response on the ED and CBI’s appeals challenging their acquittals in 2G cases. It had also asked Mr. Raja’s erstwhile private secretary R.K. Chandolia, Asif Balwa and Agarwal to plant 500 trees each in South Delhi.