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2G scam case: HC says it will hear in January CBI's appeal against acquittal


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NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court Tuesday said it will hear in January the CBI's appeal against the acquittal of former telecom minister A Raja and others in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case.

Justice Yogesh Khanna fixed January 13 to 15, 2021 for hearing the appeal.

Senior advocate Sonia Mathur, representing the CBI, urged the court to hear the case on a day to day basis, as was being done by an earlier bench, and said the agency will require one week's time to address its arguments.

She urged the court to hear the matter in mid-December.

However, the judge said it was not possible to give a date for this month and the nearest date that can be given is in January.

Though the CBI had earlier concluded its submissions on the issue of ‘leave to appeal', it will have to argue the matter afresh due to change of judge.

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

Earlier, the case was being heard on a day-to-day basis by Justice Brijesh Sethi, who retired on November 30 and had released the matter from his board on November 23 owing to paucity of time.

Before demitting the office, Justice Sethi had decided various petitions and applications filed by the acquitted individuals and firms in the three cases, arising out of the 2G scam probe, lodged by CBI and ED.

After finishing submissions in the CBI's main case, the high court will take up the ED's money laundering case in which also all the accused were acquitted by the special court.

A special court had on December 21, 2017 acquitted Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others in the CBI and the ED cases related to the scam.

Besides Raja and Kanimozhi, the special court had acquitted former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura; Raja's erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia; Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra and three top executives of Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (RADAG) -- Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair, in the 2G case filed by the CBI.

Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka and directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt Ltd Asif Balwa and Rajiv Agarwal were also acquitted in the CBI case.

The special court had also acquitted Swan Telecom (P) Ltd; Unitech Wireless (Tamil Nadu) Ltd; Reliance Telecom Ltd; film producer Karim Morani and Director of Kalaignar TV Sharad Kumar in the CBI case.

On the same day, the special court also acquitted 19 accused, including Raja, Kanimozhi, DMK supremo M Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal, Vinod Goenka, Asif Balwa, Karim Morani, P Amirtham and Sharad Kumar in the ED case.

The special court had also acquitted Essar Group promoters Ravi Kant Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters I P Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan and four others in a separate case arising out of the 2G scam probe.

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 challenged in the high court the acquittal of the accused in the case.

 

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)