CBI's bid to close an alleged telecom fraud case to the tune of Rs 800 crore against 19 people, including the then CMD of MTNL, received a jolt as a Delhi court has allowed a petition, which opposes the move.
Special CBI Judge O P Saini allowed the secretary of NGO 'Telecom Watchdog' to contest the closure of the case by the probe agency.
The judge held that Anil Kumar, secretary of the NGO, who has filed the objection in his personal capacity, has a "locus standi" and may file his opposition to the agency's report favouring closure of investigation.
The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on October 5.
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, MTNL invited tender for its limited mobile services for 150,000 lines, to be implemented in three phases. Motorola was allegedly paid money at the behest telecom officials despite several deficiencies in the project.
Earlier, CBI had allegedly favoured prosecution of 19 people, including MTNL's then CMD RSP Sinha, P Singh, former general manager of MTNL and the country head of Motorola.