Quizzing witnesses: HC reserves verdict on pleas of 2G accused

Quizzing witnesses: HC reserves verdict on pleas of 2G accused

The Delhi High Court has reserved its verdict on pleas by two 2G spectrum case accused alleging that the special CBI judge had disallowed their posers to a witness during his cross-examination without any reason.

"The judgement is reserved," Justice M L Mehta said after hearing arguments on behalf of the CBI and accused R K Chandolia, the erstwhile private secretary of former Telecom Minister A Raja and Asif Balwa, a corporate executive.

Chandolia and Balwa, a director of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Private Ltd, had moved the high court alleging that denial of opportunities to quiz the prosecution witnesses has "prejudiced" their defence in the case.

"If the trial judge disallows a question, put to a witness by defence lawyer in the cross-examination, by terming the query as irrelevant, the presiding officer must give reasons for the denial of opportunity to the accused," said Vijay Agarwal, counsel for Chandolia and Balwa.

The CBI opposed the plea of the accused, saying "to allow or to disallow a question is within the discretionary power of the trial judge and the writ jurisdiction be not invoked to challenge such interlocutory orders."

Earlier, Special CBI Judge O P Saini had termed as "irrelevant" a question - Do you have a mobile phone? - posed to a witness by Agarwal during his cross-examination in the high-profile trial.
Tarun Das, Deputy Director, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, had deposed as 12th prosecution whiteness in the case on the issue of "calculation of average revenue per user as per the TRAI Guidelines".