2G case: CBI opposes plea for joint trial
The CBI today sought the dismissal of separate pleas filed by Essar Teleholdings Limited and another accused in 2G spectrum scam case, seeking joint trial in a Delhi court saying their petitions were "intended solely" to delay the proceedings.delhi Updated: Aug 12, 2013 19:35 IST
The CBI on Monday sought the dismissal of separate pleas filed by Essar Teleholdings Limited and another accused in 2G spectrum scam case, seeking joint trial in a Delhi court saying their petitions were "intended solely" to delay the proceedings.
In its reply filed before special CBI judge OP Saini, the agency said both the pleas "illegally seek" to interpret the Supreme Court's order and the trial court does not have the "necessary jurisdiction" to entertain the same.
The court has listed the matter for arguments on the pleas filed by Essar Teleholdings Ltd and private firm director Rajiv Agarwal, both facing trial in the 2G case, on August 16.
"The applicant accused (Essar Teleholdings and Agarwal) have at no stage, in either of the aforementioned trials, raised the plea seeking a joint trial. As such, the applications are intended solely to delay the proceedings in both the trials and are liable to be dismissed in this ground alone," the agency said.
It said appropriate forum for clarification, if any, on the apex court's order is the Supreme Court itself and their plea seeking joint trial in the case should be dismissed.
"As such, both these applications illegally seek to interpret the aforesaid order of the Supreme Court and invite this court to become part of such an illegal exercise.
"It is humbly submitted that the appropriate forum for any interpretation or clarification or modification of any order of the Supreme Court is that very court itself. As such, these applications are liable to be dismissed on this as well," the agency said in its three-page reply.
Essar Teleholdings Ltd (ETHL), which is facing trial in a case arising out of the probe into the 2G scam along with the promoters of Essar Group and Loop Telecom, had moved the court seeking a joint trial with former telecom minister A Raja and others in the case.
Agarwal, facing trial along with Raja and 15 others, too had filed a similar plea in the court.
CBI, in its reply, said no direction for a joint trial was "contained" in the apex court's July 1, 2013 order.
"The applications do not disclose any genuine reason as to how any prejudice is caused to any of the accused due to the conduct of separate trials," it said adding the pleas are contrary to the provisions of law.
Referring to the apex court's April 11, 2011 order, CBI said "it is humbly submitted that both the aforementioned applications effectively seek to implead the aforesaid trials and that giving effect to the prayers contained therein would be contrary to the aforesaid order."
"As per the aforesaid order, the necessary jurisdiction to entertain these applications lies only with the Supreme Court of India," it said adding, "it is humbly submitted that this court does not have necessary jurisdiction to entertain these applications and these are therefore liable to be dismissed."
ETHL, in its plea, had sought joint trial citing a recent Supreme Court order holding them as co-accused in the case.
ETHL had said since they have been treated as "co-accused" by the apex court, a separate trial would constitute "breach of directions of SC" and there was a possibility that evidence being recorded in Raja's case might be used against it.
The apex court had on July 1 this year dismissed the plea of ETHL and Loop Telecom that they, along with their promoters, cannot be tried in the case arising out of 2G scam by the special CBI court as they have not been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Essar group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia and its director (strategy and planning) Vikash Saraf are facing trial in the case along with Loop Telecom promoters IP Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan and the three companies ETHL, Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd and Loop Mobile India Ltd.
ETHL and others are facing trial for the offence under Section 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with Section 420 (cheating) of IPC, while a substantial charge of cheating has been framed against Saraf.
Raja and Agarwal, along with 15 others, including DMK MP Kanimozhi, are facing trial in 2G case for various offences under the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act.