Ruia denies handling affairs of Sterling Cellular

Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia told the Supreme Court on Thursday that he was not connected with the day-to-day affairs of accused company Sterling Cellular Ltd and the special court wrongly summoned him accused in a corruption case related to allocation of additional spectrum during the NDA regime in 2002.

Besides Ruia, Bharti Cellular Ltd CMD Sunil Bharti Mittal, whose name did not figure in CBI's charge sheet as accused, was summoned on March 19 last year by the special CBI court saying there was “enough material” to proceed against them in the case.

Ruia was neither named in the charge sheet nor probed by the CBI in the case, senior advocate K V Vishwanathan told a bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu.
The lawyer also said that there was no material on record regarding alleged misconduct by Ruia.

However, senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for CBI, told the bench that there was “substantial circumstantial evidence” to prove misconduct against them.
Venugopal further said that recalling the lower court order to summon them will have enormous repercussions.

The court has now fixed the case for further hearing on December 3.
Earlier, Bharti Cellular Ltd CMD Mittal had assailed the lower court order summoning him as accused in the case.

“It is a curious case,” senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Mittal and Ruia, had said, adding that the alleged culpability of a company cannot be fastened on its director or an employee if there is no prima facie evidence to support the allegation.

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