Move to get firm accused in 2G scam off the hook fails

Move to get firm accused in 2G scam off the hook fails

Move to get firm accused in 2G scam off the hook fails

In a hard hitting order, a special court on Thursday scuttled a last ditch attempt by the 2G scam accused to get one of the firms out of the case.

The accused want Mystical Construction Private Limited to face the prosecution in place of Shahid Balwa and Vinod Goenka run Nihar Constructions (P) Limited as both the firms, though merged, were controlled by the “same people”.

“Merger and amalgamation cannot be used as a tool to escape criminal prosecution. It is a settled proposition of law that crime cannot go unpunished and no one can be allowed to escape it by resorting it to legal shenanigans or trickery of any nature including the scheme of amalgamation,” special CBI judge O P Saini noted, disposing of a petition filed by Firoz, a representative of the Mystical Construction Private Limited.

Recalling that such a petition was already dismissed by it in past, the judge also slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 on the petitioner for wasting the time and energy of the court and exhibiting “casual attitude, in as serious a matter as the instant case, which has acquired the dubious status of a scam.”

“The applicant deserves to be subjected to an exemplary cost of at least Rs 1 lakh, but as the trial is at the fag end, I am inclined to take a little lenient view and impose a nominal cost of Rs 25,000 on the applicant, which shall be deposited within seven days from today, failing which a warrant of attachment shall issue,” the court held.

Petitioner’s counsels Vijay Aggarwal and Mudit Jain said no proceeding can be continued against Nihar Constructions (P) Limited as it had ceased to exist since its merger into Mystical Construction Private Limited on July 30, 2013.

“On amalgamation, a new entity has come into being, which was not in existence when the alleged offence was committed and, as such, Mystical Construction (P) Limited cannot be prosecuted in place of M/s Nihar Constructions (P) Limited,” the pettioner’s counsels argued, placing on record scheme of amalgamation approved by the Bombay High Court.

But the court refused to accept the argument of the petitioner and supported the CBI’s senior public prosecutor Anand Grover’s view that “in essence and substance, Nihar Constructions (P) Limited had metamorphosed into Mystical Construction (P) Limited behind the cloak of amalgamation and it cannot be used as a ruse to escape prosecution.”

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