SC objects to Essar plea in 2G case

The Supreme Court on Thursday objected to a petition filed by Essar and others seeking shifting of the criminal proceedings in the 2G case from the special CBI court to a magisterial court .

A bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya asked the counsel for the company to avail the proper opportunity available to it, prompting him to seek adjournment to file an interim application in the matter.

The company and its officials filed a special leave petition before the apex court after the Delhi High Court’s direction on their plea that the special CBI court should not conduct the trial in their case as they were not chargesheeted by the CBI under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The CBI, in its third chargesheet in the 2G case, named Essar, Loop Mobile India Limited, Essar group promoters Anshuman and Ravi Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Essar Group director (Strategy and Planning) Vikash Saraf.

The case should go to a magistrate court as the alleged offence was only that of cheating under Section 420 of the IPC, senior counsel Harish Salve said.

The counsel also submitted that the HC refused to pass any order saying that the apex court had earlier restrained any other court to entertain any application or petition in the 2G case.

“The High Court should have read the order. It is very clear,” the bench said, directing the company to avail proper remedy available to it.

On this, Salve sought adjournment in the matter. He submitted that he would file an interim application in the pending 2G case before the apex court.

The court listed the matter for hearing on February 17.

Senior counsel K K Venugopal, appearing for the CBI, withdrew the application seeking clarification in the matter. The High Court had said the apex court's directions, restraining any other judicial forum to entertain any plea in the matter, were coming in its way from hearing the petitions of telecom firms.

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