SC dismisses two firms' plea in additional spectrum case

SC dismisses two firms' plea  in additional spectrum case

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed two telecom firms’ plea challenging 2G special court’s jurisdiction to proceed against them in the 2002 additional spectrum allocation case, saying that their move was to prolong the matter.

Hutchison Max (P) Ltd and Sterling Cellular Ltd, facing charges, claimed that the case did not fall under the jurisdiction of the special court set up to deal exclusively with cases arising out of the 2G scam.

A bench of Justices T S Thakur and V Gopala Gowda termed their plea an attempt to prevent the trial. “The judicial process comes to disrepute because of these ingenious applications. We will not fall prey to this,” the bench said on the plea made by senior advocates A M Singhvi and Sidharth Luthra, representing the firms.

“Are you people somehow bent on preventing the trial? This is most improper. The richer the client, the greater the tendency of prolonging the matter,” the bench said.
The court rejected their appeal against the special court’s July 23 order by which it had dismissed a similar plea and imposed costs of Rs 25,000 on each of the firms.
It further said that all “frivolous applications” were aimed at holding back the judicial process.

Earlier, the two firms on August 14 had withdrawn their plea from the Delhi High Court and decided to move the apex court which is monitoring the 2G scam, after the CBI said any appeal against the special court’s decisions has to be moved before the apex court.
The accused had argued that they never got licence in the period 2001-08, which is under probe by the CBI on the apex court's direction. They said each of them were already an existing licencee.

Former Telecom Secretary Shyamal Ghosh and three telecom firms — Hutchison Max, Sterling and Bharti Cellular Ltd — were named by the CBI in its charge sheet in the case relating to the Department of Telecommunications allocating additional spectrum that had allegedly resulted in a loss of Rs 846 crore to the exchequer.

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