In a major embarrassment to CBI, a Delhi court on Wednesday dismissed its plea to close a decade-old alleged telecom fraud case to the tune of Rs 800 crore against 19 people and ordered a fresh probe saying there seemed to be prima facie a strong case against the accused.
"It seemed there was prima facie a strong case was made out against the accused", Special CBI Judge O P Saini said, rejecting the closure report by CBI which argued it lacked sufficient evidence to prosecute them.
The court, after perusing the objection application of Anil Kumar, secretary of NGO 'Telecom Watchdog' against the CBI's closure report, concluded the fresh probe was required to unravel the case.
The agency, which had earlier allegedly favoured prosecution of 19 people, including MTNL's then CMD R S P Sinha, P Singh, former general manager of MTNL and the country head of Motorola, later moved the court for closing the case.
The agency's bid faced legal hurdle after Anil Kumar filed his objection, through his lawyer V K Ohri, to the closure report following the Delhi High Court's direction to approach the lower court.
Earlier, the court had rejected CBI's plea that Anil Kumar had no "locus standi" to oppose its move and allowed him to file his objection.
The alleged fraud relates to payments made against tender agreement with M/s Motorola India Ltd for establishing of CDMA-based WLL service (commonly known as "Garuda") for the state-owned MTNL in 1999.