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Additional spectrum case covered under 2G scam, says CBI

CBI on Monday opposed the jurisdiction issue raised by two telecom firms, chargesheeted in the 2002 additional spectrum allocation case.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:July 6, 2015, 6:04 PM IST
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Additional spectrum case covered under 2G scam, says CBI
CBI on Monday opposed the jurisdiction issue raised by two telecom firms, chargesheeted in the 2002 additional spectrum allocation case.

New Delhi: CBI on Monday opposed the jurisdiction issue raised by two telecom firms, chargesheeted in the 2002 additional spectrum allocation case, and told a special court that the matter was part of the 2G spectrum scam, the probe in which was being monitored by the Supreme Court.

Special Public Prosecutor Anand Grover told the court that the case was among the various matters which were being monitored by the apex court in the 2G scam.

"Our (CBI's) preliminary enquiry (PE) was lodged in this case and Supreme Court monitored the investigation. Why? Because this was a 2G case," he told Special CBI Judge OP Saini.

The court was hearing the pleas filed by accused firms M/s Hutchison Max(P) Ltd and M/s Sterling Cellular Ltd challenging its jurisdiction to deal with the matter on the ground that the case did not relate to the 2G spectrum scam.

After hearing the arguments, the court reserved its order on the pleas for July 16.

During arguments, Grover said the apex court was monitoring the probe in the main case lodged by CBI against former Telecom Minister A Raja and others, as well as other cases in the 2G scam and the additional spectrum case was one of them.

"The Supreme Court has monitored the probe into this case and if the investigation was monitored by the Supreme Court, then it has to be a 2G scam case," Grover said.

Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, who appeared for the two accused firms, contended that the special court was constituted to deal with matters pertaining to 2G scam only and additional spectrum case was not covered under it.

"2G case and my (additional spectrum) case are distinct. CBI had lodged separate regular case (RC) in this matter and has filed separate charge sheet. This case is not under the 2G scam," Luthra said.

Luthra had earlier argued in the court that they never got licence in the period 2001 to 2008, which is under probe by CBI on apex court's direction and were already an existing licensee.

Former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh and three telecom firms M/s Hutchison Max (P) Ltd, M/s Sterling Cellular Ltd and Bharti Cellular Ltd were chargesheeted by the CBI in the case relating to Department of Telecommunications allocating additional spectrum, which had allegedly resulted in a loss of Rs 846 crore to the exchequer.

The special court was earlier informed that the 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.

The apex court had on January 9 this year set aside the order summoning Mittal and Ruia, observing that the principle of 'alter ego' has been wrongly applied by the trial judge in seeking the 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 Hutchison Max Pvt Ltd, as an accused.

Mittal, Ruia and Asim Ghosh were not named as accused in the CBI charge sheet filed on December 21, 2012.

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

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