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2G case verdict: Delhi High Court allows pleas of CBI, ED for early hearing on leave to appeal

Delhi High Court. File  

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday allowed the appeals of the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for an early hearing on its leave to appeal against the 2G case verdict acquitting former Telecom Minister A. Raja and others.

Justice Brijesh Sethi said the petitions filed by the CBI and the ED be listed on October 5 for hearing on day-to-day basis till further orders.

Leave to appeal is a permission granted by a court to a party to challenge a decision in a higher court.

Justice Sethi, who is set to retire on November 30, rejected the argument raised by the counsel for the accused in the case that the court is short of time to hear the leave to appeal.

The counsel for the accused had argued that no urgency has been established by the agencies to hear their petitions out of turn. They also contended that the record of these cases is quite voluminous and it will not be possible to advert to the entire evidence and documents through video conferencing, the method adopted by the High Court for court hearing during the pandemic.

Justice Sethi, however, rejected the submission saying, “In the end, this Court has only one thing to say that no doubt there may be delay in filing the applications for early hearing; no doubt the documents are voluminous in nature; no doubt the evidence runs into thousands of pages; no doubt one of the judgments also runs into 1,552 pages, but that does not mean that this should deter this court in hearing the criminal leave petitions.”

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the investigating agencies, had said the CBI has already concluded its argument on January 15, earlier this year but thereafter, the case could not be heard due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mr. Jain had said if the part-heard matter is heard afresh by another bench it will cost too much to the public exchequer. Hence, this matter ought to be decided before Justice Sethi demits office, Mr. Jain said.

In December 2017, a Special CBI Court here had acquitted Mr. Raja, Ms. Kanimozhi and others in the CBI and the ED cases relating to the 2G case noting that the prosecution had “miserably failed” to prove the charges.

The Special CBI Court also acquitted 17 others, including late DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi’s wife Dayalu Ammal, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, film producer Karim Morani, P. Amirtham and Sharad Kumar, director of Kalaignar TV in the ED case.

On March 19, 2018, the ED 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.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 8:23:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/2g-scam-hc-allows-cbi-ed-pleas-for-early-hearing-on-appeals/article32723562.ece

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