Court reserves verdict on pleas in spectrum case

Court reserves verdict on pleas in spectrum case

The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on pleas of Bharti Cellular Ltd CMD Sunil Bharti Mittal and Essar Group promoter Ravi Ruia against a trial court order summoning them as accused in a corruption case related to allocation of additional spectrum during NDA rule in 2002.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice H L Dattu reserved the judgement after senior advocate F S Nariman, appearing for Mittal, concluded the arguments, saying that the trial court erred in summoning his client despite the fact that the CMD was not named as accused in the charge sheet.

“The Assistant Legal Adviser said that only public servants be made accused. It was then CBI Director A P Singh who said that the companies can also be made accused,” he said, adding that the trial judge went further and summoned Mittal as accused. The Managing Director cannot be held “vicariously liable” for a criminal offence of a company unless there is evidence, he said.

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