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2G spectrum allocation case: Centre sees “delay tactics” as accused say no notice is received from HC

Former Telecom Minister A. Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, seen here outside the Patiala High Court, New Delhi, were acquitted in December 2017 in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

Former Telecom Minister A. Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, seen here outside the Patiala High Court, New Delhi, were acquitted in December 2017 in the 2G spectrum allocation case.   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

CBI, ED have challenged the Special CBI Court verdict acquitting all 19 accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case

The Central government on Friday alleged “delay tactics” after counsel for some accused in the 2G spectrum allocation case said they had not received any notice from the Delhi High Court, which is hearing appeals from the CBI and Enforcement Directorate (ED) challenging a Special CBI Court verdict acquitting all the accused in the case.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta made the statement during the brief hearing before Justice S.P. Garg after counsel for the accused sought more time to submit responses to the notices.

Taking consideration of the argument, Justice Garg asked the accused, including former Telecom Minister A. Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, to submit their response by the next date of hearing.

On December 21, 2017, the Special CBI Court dismissed all charges framed by the CBI and the ED, and acquitted all 10 individuals and nine entities accused of money laundering.

The CBI had contended that the Special CBI Court did not appreciate the evidence it had put forward, establishing the alleged irregularities in the 2G spectrum allocation process. It said the court did not take into consideration the money trail of alleged bribery it had unearthed or the irregularities in the implementation of the first-come-first-served policy.

The ED too made a similar contention that the Special CBI Court did not properly appreciate the facts and evidence in the case.

The Special CBI Court had remarked that the CBI did not produce any evidence that could establish “any criminality in the acts allegedly committed by the accused persons relating to fixation of cut-off date, manipulation of first-come-first-served policy, allocation of spectrum to dual technology applicants… and transfer of ₹200 crore to Kalaignar TV (P) Limited as illegal gratification”.

It had also rejected the ED’s charge of money laundering, saying there were no “proceeds of crime” as all accused have been acquitted in the main case filed by the CBI.

ED's contention

In its appeal, the ED contended that the Special CBI Court was “misdirected” in holding that the money laundering offence did not take place, merely because of acquittals in the CBI case.

The ED said the accused were acquitted on the grounds that the CBI case did not stand, ignoring judgment by various courts holding money laundering as an independent offence.

The first case in the 2G trial prosecuted by the CBI had 17 accused, while the second case pursued by the ED had 19 accused. The third one had eight accused, including Essar promoters.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 10:44:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/court-gives-2g-case-defendants-more-time/article23989214.ece

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