2G scam: Apex court to examine Loop Telecom's plea for settlement

2G scam: Apex court to examine Loop Telecom's plea for settlement

2G scam: Apex court to examine Loop Telecom's plea for settlement

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine a plea by Loop Telecom Ltd and Essar Group director Vikas Saraf for referring the cheating case relating to the 2G scam for settlement in Lok Adalat.

A bench of Justices J S Khehar and Arun Mishra refused to issue a notice to the CBI and the Department of Telecom but asked CBI special prosecutor to argue on the issue of  whether the matter could be referred to Lok Adalat.

Lok Adalat is an alternative dispute resolution mechanism by which the parties involved in civil and compoundable criminal cases try to arrive at a compromise to settle a case. If the concerned parties do not arrive at a compromise, the matter is remanded back to the court for disposal.

The bench initially expressed reservation over hearing their plea as CBI prosecutor senior advocate Anand Grover contended the trial as well as final arguments in the matter was over.

“Why should we interfere at this stage,” the bench asked senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appearing for Loop Telecom, who maintained that the company faced trial for the offence under Section 420 (cheating) read with 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and which were compoundable.

As per provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), offence under Section 420 (cheating) of the IPC is compoundable if both the complainant and the accused arrive at a mutual consent.

The bench posted the matter for November 18 and earmarked half-an-hour time each for the counsel of LTL and the CBI to argue on the issue. Meanwhile, Reliance Telecom Ltd preferred to withdraw its similar plea.

Essar Group promoters Ravi Ruia and Anshuman Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Essar Group director (strategy and planning) Vikash Saraf faced trial in the case along with three firms—LTL, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holding Ltd.

The CBI had filed the charge sheet against them stating that they had cheated the DoT by using Loop Telecom as a ‘front’ to secure 2G licences in 2008.

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