Switzerland-based firm Swiss Timing, an accused in a Commonwealth Games-related graft case, on Wednesday told the Delhi high court that it was not served with the summons to appear before a court here in a manner prescribed by the law.
"CBI has misled the court below on the issue. Any consequential coercive measures such as arrest warrant and attachment of properties would be contrary to law as the service of summonses have not been served (on the accused) as per the CrPC and the international treaties," senior advocate Amit Desai told Justice Mukta Gupta.
The counsel for the MNC cited legal provisions in his attempt to distinguish between the summonses issued in civil and criminal cases.
"Mere knowledge of a pending criminal case to an accused was not sufficient as the summons are meant for compelling his appearance before a court of law with other consequences. And for this purpose, the law provides strict compliance of the procedures in service of summonses," he said.
In criminal law, summonses are not meant for knowledge and the accused have to be served personally, he said.
Referring to international treaties, Desai said the summonses, issued to accused living in offshore countries, have to be sent to "courts, judges and magistrates" in that nation and not to other agencies.
In the present case, CBI did not send the translated version of documents, along with the summons, to Swiss Timing and it was violative of the international law.
The court would tomorrow hear remaining arguments in the case.
The high court had earlier refused to stay a possible coercive process against the accused firm Swiss Timing for not appearing before a court here.
Swiss Timing, in its plea, is seeking a stay on possible coercive measures against it by the lower court on the ground that it had not been served with the summons as per the law dealing with offshore companies.
CBI had earlier moved the lower court seeking separation of the trial against the Swiss firm from ten other accused saying though it had served summons to it in the manner prescribed under the treaty between the two countries, it would take time in bringing the firm to the jurisdiction of the Indian court.
Sacked Commonwealth Games Organising Committee chief Suresh Kalmadi and other co-accused are charged with illegally granting the contract to Swiss Timing, causing a loss of over Rs 90 crore to the exchequer.
The Swiss firm was given the contract to install the Timing, Scoring and Result systems for the 2010 mega sports event.
The Swiss firm, which secured the contract allegedly due to links of two Faridabad-based businessman PD Arya and AK Madan with Kalmadi, is one of the 11 accused in the case.
Besides the Swiss firm and Kalmadi, other accused in the case are CWG OC's Director General VK Verma, Secretary General Lalit Bhanot, Director General (procurement) Surjit Lal, Joint Director General (sports) ASV Prasad and Treasurer M Jayachandran. They are no more associated with the sporting body.
Promoters of two construction companies - Anil Madan and PD Arya of Faridabad-based Gem International and AK Reddy and his firm AKR Constructions are also accused in the case.