Ruias, Khaitans skip court, to get fresh summons

Ruias, Khaitans skip court, to get fresh summons

Ruias, Khaitans skip court, to get fresh summons

Fresh summons  were today issued to Essar Group Promoters Anshuman and Ravi Ruia and Loop Telecom promoters I P Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan, in a case arising out of the 2G scam probe after they failed to appear in a local court.

Special CBI Judge O P Saini once again issued summonses to them for Feb 22 as they did not appear before him in compliance with the December 21 summons. The court action came after counsel, appearing for accused Vikash Saraf, Essar Group Director (Strategy and Planning) and three accused firms, said summons were not "duly" served on Ruias and Khaitans.

"I do not find anything wrong with the service (of summons) by affixation. However, considering the fact that all the four accused were stated by their employees to be in Dubai, I deem it proper that before issuing any coercive process against these four accused for procuring their presence in the court, one more attempt be made to effect personal service or in the alternative service by affixation.

"Accordingly, fresh summons be issued to all four accused for February 22," the judge said. The court, however, allowed the application of Saraf for exemption from personal appearance today and listed the matter for further proceedings on February 22.

"Exemption of Vikash Saraf is allowed for today as Special Public Prosecutor has no objection to the same and no order is required to be passed on (Saraf's) prayer for exemption for four weeks as the case is listed on February 22 for service on the four accused," the court said.

During the hearing, counsel for Saraf and authorised representatives of accused firms Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Teleholdings, along with their advocates, appeared before the court. The Special CBI Judge had on December 21, issued summons to Ruias, Khaitans, Vikash Saraf and the three firms after taking cognisance of the CBI charge sheet arising out of the probe in the 2G scam.

However, defence counsel  claimed they have not been "duly" served with the summons. "Summons has not been served to my client at his proper residential address and he is seeking one month exemption as he is at present abroad," senior advocate Siddharth luthra, appearing for Saraf said earlier in the day's proceeding.

Special Public Prosecutor U U Lalit questioned the non-appearance of some of the accused saying that the defence counsel were "indirectly asking for the stay of proceedings" which they failed to get from the Delhi High Court.

The defence lawyers said that Ruias and Khaitans are at present in Dubai and the CBI officials pasted copies of the summons at their Delhi and Mumbai addresses. Earlier, the High Court had asked the Essar Teleholdings and Loop Telecom and the CBI to approach the Supreme Court to get clarifications on the directions which restrained other courts from entertaining pleas related to the 2G case.

Seeking adjournment, the counsel for Loop Telecom today said that "as per the High Court order, both parties (CBI and the accused) have to move to the Supreme Court on the issue of jurisdiction of this (special) court".

"The court may adjourn the matter as this matter is going to the very root of jurisdiction and so that we can go to the Supreme Court and deal with the matter," he added.

Lalit, however, opposed the defense counsel's plea saying "they are indirectly asking for the same relief (staying of proceedings) which they have failed to get from the Delhi High Court." The Supreme Court had amply made it clear that none other than the special court would hear the matter related to the 2G case, the special prosecutor said.

"Kindly mark why the High Court was not giving the interim relief to them (accused) because the Surpeme Court, in one of its orders, had said that no matter related to the 2G case could be heard by any other court, except the special court," he said.

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