In a setback to Loop Telecom and Essar Group and its officials accused in the 2G spectrum case, the Delhi high court on Tuesday refused to stay their trial before the special CBI court.
The HC's refusal to intervene immediately meant that Essar group promoters Anshuman and Ravi Ruia along with Loop Telecom Promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband IP Khaitan and Essar Group director (strategy and planning) Vikas Saraf will have to appear before the special court on January 27.
Special CBI judge OP Saini had summoned them on December 21, 2011 after taking cognisance of the probe agency's third chargesheet.
The companies moved the HC contending that the special CBI court had no power to hear their case as they have not been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act. They maintain only a magistrate can hear their case. "They (accused) will appear before the trial court. We are not passing any interim order. There will be no stay," said a bench headed by justice BD Ahmed.
The bench deferred the hearing till February 16 asking the companies and the CBI to seek a clarification from the SC if the charges can be heard by a magistrate or the special CBI court.
Essar Group in a statement said, "Essar maintains it is not part of 2G scam. The only charge against us pertains to interpretation of Clause 8 of the United Access Service License guidelines, which being a civil matter, can only be tried by a magistrate as it is merely a contractual issue."