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Additional spectrum case: 2G court to hear arguments from March 4

The CBI did not oppose the contentions of the counsel appearing for the accused.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:February 19, 2015, 6:45 PM IST
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Additional spectrum case: 2G court to hear arguments from March 4
The CBI did not oppose the contentions of the counsel appearing for the accused.

New Delhi: The special 2G court would start hearing from next month arguments on framing of charges in the 2002 additional spectrum allocation case, in which CBI has chargesheeted former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh and three telecom firms.

Special CBI Judge OP Saini fixed the matter for March 4 to begin arguments after defence counsel sought short adjournment for perusal of case records saying it was quite voluminous.

The CBI did not oppose the contentions of the counsel appearing for the accused. "This is an important case and whatever document is needed by the defence, CBI should provide at the earliest. Once the charges are framed, I intend to take it on day to day basis and no adjournments will be granted thereafter," the judge said.

During the hearing, senior public prosecutor KK Goel informed the court that entire records of the case was being scanned, though copies of the same has already been supplied to the accused to their satisfaction.

The court also said it would hear on March 4 the arguments on the bail plea of Shyamal Ghosh. The court was earlier informed that Supreme Court had quashed the order summoning Bharti Cellular Ltd CMD Sunil Bharti Mittal and Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia as accused in the case.

Hearing in the case was virtually stalled since April 26, 2013 interim order of the apex court which had said that proceedings against Mittal and Ruia, who had challenged the summoning order, will remain "postponed" till further orders. The apex court had cleared the decks for Mittal and Ruia by setting aside the order summoning them, observing that the principle of 'alter ego' has been wrongly applied by the trial judge in seeking presence of Mittal and Ruia as accused.

Besides Mittal, Ruia and Shyamal Ghosh, the special court had also summoned Canada-based NRI Asim Ghosh, who was then a managing director of accused firm Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt Ltd, as accused. Mittal, Ruia and Asim Ghosh were not named as accused in the CBI charge sheet.

CBI had filed the charge sheet in the case on December 21, 2012 against Shyamal Ghosh and three telecom firms -- Bharti Cellular Ltd, Hutchison Max Telecom Pvt Ltd (now known as Vodafone India Ltd) and Sterling Cellular Ltd (now called Vodafone Mobile Service Ltd). The agency had chargesheeted them as accused in the case relating to the Department of Telecommunications allocating additional spectrum, which had allegedly resulted in a loss of Rs 846 crore to the exchequer.

In the 57-page charge sheet, CBI has booked Shyamal Ghosh and the three firms for the offences of criminal conspiracy (120-B) of the IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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